It is about time we took the benefits of jute more seriously
It is disheartening to see that, despite numerous regulations introduced by the government to increase the use of jute in our economy, it continues to be ignored by the people at large.
It was in 2013 when the government ordered the use of jute packaging for six products -- paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertilizer, and sugar -- so as to increase the use of jute to support the struggling sector, and reduce the rampant pollution caused by plastic bags.
This was increased to a further 11 products in 2017.
While the policies in place were encouraging and looked to address a major problem of plastic pollution in the country, it is most unfortunate that the implementation of the policy has been anything but ideal.
According to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, there are currently around Tk700 crore worth of unused jute sacks in stock. This is inexcusable and it is about time there was a serious change of mentality.
This is not a sustainable situation for our country, one where plastic pollution continues to wreak havoc and jute readily available to us as an excellent and sustainable substitution for it.
While there are questions about the cost of the jute sacks compared to the plastic ones which may affect the smaller farmers, this can be monitored by the authorities concerned. The bigger concern is to get people behind the idea of abandoning plastic for jute.
Jute’s potential is currently going to waste in our country because those responsible for abiding by the rules have rejected them. They are being allowed to get away with their negligence, and this cannot be the norm moving forward if we are to tackle the problems plastic poses to our country.
It is about time we took the benefits of jute more seriously, and enabled our struggling jute industry to thrive.