When it comes to packaging, being green isn’t always what consumers always expect. The ubiquitous recycling symbol, for instance, has become the visual indicator of whether or not a product is environmentally friendly. But in pharmaceutical and medical device packaging, recyclability may not always be possible—or even preferable.
D. Bruce Cohen, an industry leader in pharmaceutical packaging for more than 35 years, is now owner and principal of PackTechPlus LLC. Cohen has held positions at Alcon Laboratories, BBL, Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics, Sterling Drug Inc., Glaxo Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline.
In packaging, the term sustainability emerged after Lee Scott of low-cost-leader Wal-Mart mentioned it in a 2005 speech. Ever since, the term has linked environmentally friendly practices with business efficiency.
Alcan Packaging, a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan, conducted its first Indian Alcan Packaging University (APU) seminar at the Fariyas Resort, Lonavala, October 8-9. The APU seminar addressed both brand name and generic pharmaceutical product
manufacturers. A tour of the new Alcan Packaging Chakan facility, inaugurated in October 2008, was also included.
“Our Chakan plant is key to providing high-level service to our Indian partners, making it the perfect location to share our expertise with our customers,” said Lionel Lob, president, Pharma Flexibles, Glass and Emerging Markets, Alcan Packaging. “With its excellent reputation, high-quality products, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, and experienced workforce, Chakan is well-equipped to meet the needs of the world’s top branded and generic pharmaceutical companies.”
In a deal that could result in one of the largest packaging companies, Amcor has offered to acquire parts of Alcan Packaging for US$2025 million from Rio Tinto. The Alcan Packaging businesses that Amcor has agreed to acquire include Alcan Packaging Global Pharmaceuticals, Alcan Packaging Food Europe, Alcan Packaging Food Asia, and Alcan Packaging Global Tobacco.
Alcan Packaging Global Pharmaceuticals includes all the business units Alcan Packaging operates in Contract Packaging, Medical Flexibles, Pharma Flexibles, Plastics Americas, Glass Tubing, and Specialty Cartons. The process to divest the Beauty sector is ongoing, managed by RioTinto.