Packaging Industry encompasses printing of paper covers, boxes, cartons, labels, calendars etc. In fact, in many fields, the same machines are used for printing and packaging. Before invention of the offset method, labels, covers and calendars were printed in letter press. Another method of printing known as litho printing process was also in use at that time. In this method, the matter was first written upside down on a piece of stone and the stone was then impressed on the paper to get the print. The process was convenient for printing pictures or designs on papers. A leading firm of Dhaka in such printing work was the Litho Offset Press at the Court House Street. This press printed cinema posters, labels and Urdu newspapers. Small and simple labels, leaflets, invitation cards etc were printed with the help of plated blocks. Besides, silk screen-printing was also used to print small lot materials.
The packaging industries kept pace with the increased demand for paper covers and packets with the increase in the production of different types of industrial goods. The industry, however, developed in East Pakistan slowly because of its low growth there.
A full-scale packaging industry unit named Eagle Box and Carton Manufacturing industries was established in the suburbs of Dhaka in the 1960s. This was the first packaging factory of East Pakistan. Later, two more packaging factories namely, Ata Khan & Company and Hashim Can, were set up for printing on paper and tin, plastic, clothes etc. Packaging work was also done in the Co-operative and Pioneer Presses, which had offset printing equipment. Towards the end of the 1960s, many new packaging factories such as Eastern Regal, Fine Art Press, Elite Press and Padma Press were set up. Quality calendars, cigarette boxes, cartons for medicine bottles and packs and medicine strips were made in these factories. These presses operate mainly with offset machines. Automatic printing technology eased the work of creasing, folding and cutting in these factories. There are now more than five hundred presses of this type. [Fazle Rabbi]