‘Make it happen’!

Ashwin Moorthy, heAshwin Moorthyad of engineering and innovation for Nampak Plastics.


Describe yourself in three words

Committed, innovative and courageous.

How did you get to where you are today?

Prior to joining Nampak, my 20-year career has encompassed working in project engineering and management, successfully delivering primary and secondary packaging, turnkey engineering and procurement projects on behalf of Tetra Pak, Mead Westvaco and UK Engineering Services, for global food and beverage packaging clients such as PepsiCo, Schweppes and Cantrell & Cochrane.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My main areas of responsibility include the evaluation, development and integration of traditional and sustainable packaging materials; new lightweight and value added liquid dairy product packaging, and energy and cost efficient production solutions for the multi-site business.

My role also entails implementing strategy and solutions to maintain Nampak’s position as a supplier of high-density polyethylene bottles to the UK dairy industry. As a result, my days are often varied. Mostly, I’ll be researching and testing new materials, packaging designs and technologies to meet our ongoing and future business requirements.

What’s your biggest professional achievement?

I would consider our successes with the Infini bottle one of my greatest achievements at Nampak. We have been on a four-year journey, trying out various innovations and iterations, with rigorous
testing and trials, in order to create the Infini bottle.Milk

Our combined lightweighting and recycling achievements to date will result in up to 35,000 tonnes of material saved every year and will also herald significant carbon savings across the industry. Over 200 million Infini bottles have been sold since last year from retailers including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose. Infini will continue to be a challenge as we are always pushing the boundaries further and looking for new innovative ways to lead the market.

How has the industry changed over the past few years and why?

Over the past few years, the packaging industry has changed in various ways. There are now higher yields and lower costs due to packaging, equipment and
supply chain improvements. The industry has also been shaped by new legislation, initiatives and of course the changing needs of retailers and consumers.

What is your pet hate?


Give us a positive prediction for the industry over the next 12 months

In terms of milk packaging, the main developments will be further lightweighting and increasing recycled content up to 30 per cent. Nampak has plans to lightweight the Infini bottle further, and the bottle’s unique design with the handle on the corner makes this possible. However, this will be dependent on supply chain flexibility.

What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?

Being authentic and inspiring, commitment and maintaining a sense of humour.

Who do you most admire?

Nelson Mandela.

What other innovations do you think will become popular for dairy and why?

I think we’ll see an increase in functional products with additives such as nutrients and proteins to accommodate changing lifestyles. Also, we might start to see
longer shelf life of products and more value adding packaging.

Which words do you most overuse?

‘Make it happen’ and ‘can do’.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know

I used to do a lot of gliding.

How do you relax?

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, attempting to play golf and watching cricket and football.

Related content

Leave a reply

Food and Drink Technology