Considering the packaging need both International and Indian standards are used. In India BIS standards have been formulated for plastic woven sacks for foodgrain (IS 14887:2000) and sugar (IS: 14968: 2001) Packaging.
Various studies and field trial have been conducted both in food storage godowns and laboratories to establish suitability of PP Woven Sacks for long-term storage of Foodgrains and sugar. The studies have been conducted from institute of repute like Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute (IGMRI), Industrial Toxicological Research Centre (ITRC), and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) etc. Test and trial parameters were selected in view of most important parameters with respect to Foodgrains storage and packaging.
Outcome of these studies and trial compared to other conventional material of packaging can be summarized as under:
• PP Woven Sacks restrict moisture permeation and insect penetration.
• Lower temperature during storage hence lesser insect germination
• Better insecticide persistency to reduce its application and cost
• Odour of the stored commodity is not altered
• From Entomological aspects PP Woven Sacks are superior
• CFTRI certification of raw materials used for PP Woven Sacks from safety angle for food contact applications.
• ITRC has certified these bags suitable and meet all the physico-chemical and biological tests required for food grain storage.
• Food grains stored in PP Woven Sacks conform to Prevention of food adulteration act and rules as per Delhi Test House report.
• Mechanical properties of PP Woven Sacks (tensile strength and stretchability) are superior
• Drop impact strength and slip tendencies of bags stacked are better and comparable respectively with stack height up to 35 layers.
All these studies clearly indicate PP Woven Sacks as an ideal bulk packaging solution for food grains and sugar.
FIBC as Future Bulk Packaging Solution:Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC) is a relatively new entrant in bulk packaging concept in India. It has already gained huge success and being extensively used in all the developed countries as most inexpensive but effective storage, transportation and packaging solution for food grains, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, bakery products and as well as Industrial products. Capacities ranges from 500- Kg to 2000 Kg). The growing use of FIBC in different markets is partly caused by users changing their packaging solutions (eg. woven sacks, multi-wall paper bags, kraft octabins, metal bins and plastic RBC) to FIBC – in Europe this could have been a result of the EU Packaging Directives. Increased availability of specifically designed filling and discharging machines is also another reason for shift from conventional packaging to FIBC. Popularity and use of FIBC will continue to grow as handling becomes increasingly easier and cost savings are even more readily identifiable over other types of packaging. In our environmentally conscious world, FIBC offer an excellent alternative to the traditional packaging solutions as they can be reused as well as recycled and therefore minimize disposal problems.
Bulk Packaging has to be strong, durable, light in weight, provide adequate protection with increased storage/ shelf life, easily handled, cost effective, reusable, recyclable and impact on environment should be minimum on holistic approach considering life cycle analysis of the packaging material.