Tinplate Company of India at pacprocess 2019

Metal packaging share might go up in the future

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Samadarshi Sarkar, assistant manager, Services & Solutions, Tinplate Packaging India
Samadarshi Sarkar, assistant manager, Services & Solutions, Tinplate Packaging India

The Tinplate Company of India, a part of the Tata Group, participated at the pacprocess 2019 event in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Of the overall packaging industry in India, only 10% belongs to metal packaging and of this 10%, half is tinplate packaging and the remaining is metal packaging (including aluminum) per se.

“A pressurized can is usually aluminum and the non-pressurized metal cans, which require more strength, come under tinplate packaging. Tinplate packaging is used in aerosols, battery, packaged and processed food, oil and chemicals (pesticides and paints),” says Samadarshi Sarkar, assistant manager, Services & Solutions, Tinplate Packaging India. The Tinplate Company of India has close to 40% share in tinplate packaging.

Tinplate packaging is almost 100% recyclable. A recycled tinplate packaging cannot be recycled back to its original form but can be processed into steel. Currently, the company works with close to 350 customers spread across the country. These customers are either fabricators or fillers having an in-house fabrication facility.

Tinplate packaging is generally an 8-layer sandwich. There is a steel substrate base and then comes two layers of tin, alloy tin and free tin followed by a chromic acid coating that is oiled on to the surface so that its scratch-proof. The Tinplate Company is growing at a healthy rate of 5% to 6% every year. “Looking at the macro-economic factors, it seems that India is a promising market to progress in this field. With the ban on single-use plastics as a form of packaging, it seems likely that the consumption pattern of packaging goes back to the basics and we start using metal again,” explains Sarkar.

Metal that was once a primary form of packaging has now turned into a luxury item. “It is a perception that has come in because plastics are much cheaper to process. That gives packaging companies the perception that one can kill on the packaging costs with plastics. But if one takes the environmental impact of packaging into account and the cost of recycling it, it becomes much costlier than the metal alternatives. Tinplate looks like a costly alternative upfront. But, the EPR initiative that various brand owners have been mandated to take up is going to raise the cost of plastic as a packaging material drastically,” shares Sarkar.

Metal packaging has its advantages and the biggest of all is its property of being pilfer-proof. However bad one drops a can, it’s very rare that it would leak. On the other hand, a plastic jar dropped from the same height may rupture. The Tinplate Company received a decent footfall on the first day and is looking to generate more trade inquiries in the coming days.

Packaging South Asia will again cover Metpack in Essen in Germany. The 2020 edition of the metal packaging fair takes place from 5 to 9 May 2020. PSA will cover interpack 2020 in Dusseldorf from 7 to 13 May as well. For editorial and marketing team, it will be our 4th Metpack and 7th Interpack events.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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