Sir: The government of Pakistan should learn from Bangladesh where the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has ordered the mandatory use of jute sacks for packaging rice. The decision has been taken to support the country’s jute sack industry. The government also provides seven percent cash subsidy on the export of jute products.
Ironically, in Pakistan, the government itself is engaged in procuring polypropylene bags for food grain storage despite the fact that jute is considered as the best option for the storage of wheat and other grains, globally. The natural fibres in jute do not affect the quality of the grains and protect them from sunlight and heat. Jute bags can also be recycled.
Promulgating a similar mandatory order in Pakistan will mitigate the risk of contamination and environmental damage associated with the usage of plastic packaging. Furthermore, such a decision will also generate more employment opportunities in the jute industry, which is at present supporting more than 125,000 people directly and indirectly.
Fareed A Siddiqi