To ensure safe storing and handling of products

: Fireworks industry could add value to their products by using quality and colourful packaging, Additional Chief Secretary and Chairman and Director, Tamil Nadu Industrial Explosives Limited, G.A. Rajkumar, said.

Stressing the importance of quality packaging for safe handling, storing and transporting of fireworks and matches at a seminar organized by the Indian Institute of Packaging here on Saturday, Mr. Rajkumar said aesthetically packaged products could help the industry fetch more remunerative price of their products.

“To face competition in the modern age, attractive packaging was imperative to sell products,” he said.

Asking the industries to follow the norms prescribed by the authorities concerned, he however, said that the authorities such as the Chief Controller of Explosives (CCE) should not stop with just prescribing norms but also come up with valuable solutions to address various issues concerning the industry.

The Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, A.P. Singh, said that the packaging designs for fireworks industry should be approved by the CCE.

“The quality of material and the design with the dummy products should be sent to the CCE for making various tests, including drop test for ascertaining the strength of the packaging design.

One of the leading cracker manufacturers, A.P. Selvarajan, told reporters that the packaging cost of fireworks constituted around 10 per cent of the total manufacturing cost.

“Good packing not only enhanced value to the fireworks, but also would ensure safety in transit and stocking,” he said.

The industry was using wooden boxes till 10 years back when the railways were allowing booking of fireworks under their parcel service. But, after crackers were banned by railways, the industry has shifted to corrugated boxes.

The advantages of modern packaging materials were that it was cost-effective and consumed less labour.

“The weight of wooden box was around 15 kg, while the carton boxes weighed less than two kg. Besides, these boxes did not occupy much space as they were foldable,” he said.

This brought down the transportation cost for the companies by at least 20 per cent, he added.

Besides, newer technologies ensured safety for the crackers as they protected them from water and fire.

Balasubramanian, president of The Sivakasi Master Printers’ Association, said that the annual turnover of the packaging industry through fireworks and matches could be around Rs. 400 crore. “These industries offered much more scope for the development of packaging industry as more competition is foreseen in cracker industry in future,” he said.

Past chairperson of Indian Institute of Packaging K. Kasi Visweswaran said adopting new packaging technologies will help the fireworks industry go in for more mechanisation and save time and money.

“Only modern packaging will help the cracker industry to put up fight at the international market,” he said.

IIP was the only authority to certify the packaging of dangerous goods for transporting. It is also the only authorized agency for test the packaging materials by the United Nations.

The joint director of IIP (Chennai), Tanweer Alam and its deputy director, T.M. Malik, were among those who spoke.