Aug 1, 2018
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)is now restricting the use of toluene, titanium acetylacetonate and phthalates in printing of packaging materials used for food products. So Indian packaged food companies will now have to stop using themin printing texts and images on materials used for external packaging.
ParthaPratimSanyal, independent consultant and convener at BIS Panel on packaging inks, explained that the above mentioned materials will be included in the existing exclusion list in the current standard (IS 15495).
Toluene, a chemical used in paint thinners can migrate between layers of packaging and potentially cause damage to liver and kidneys in humans. Though toluene is banned in food industry across the developed nations but unfortunately is widely used in India to print on packaging materials,. On the other hand, industry associations in smaller countries, such as Sri Lanka, have voluntarily stopped using toluene in printing of packaging materials used as food packets.
It is a big step forward by the regulatory body which will push the industry to move towards healthy and safe packaging and as a responsible corporate citizen,everyone should be committed to comply with all existing regulations and guidelines.
On the other hand there would not be any “major capital investment” for companies to go for only toluene-free inks, apart from the marginal increase in cost of printing ink. Printing equipment that currently uses toluene-based solutions for printing can run toluene-free ink solutions.