Bangladesh has made the use of jute sacks mandatory in packaging different agricultural products including rice.
So mills in Bangladesh now need to produce an additional 1.5 million bales of raw jute annually. The country currently produces about 7 million bales a year.
Under the law, all kinds of packaging, particularly for rice, wheat, sugar and fertiliser, must be done with the use of jute sacks. Most rice millers are now using jute sacks in packaging rice and need to be supplied around 360 million jute sacks a year.
The country sees a return to the golden era of the fiber if the law can be implemented successfully. For violation, the law provides punishment of a maximum imprisonment for a year, or a fine, or both, for using non-degradable synthetics to package commodities.
Despite initial unwillingness, most rice millers have now started using jute sacks.
Bangladesh is seeing new export opportunities. European Union members and some other countries have recently imposed restrictions on the use of plastic and other synthetic products. According to strict new targets each country has to reduce plastic bag use by 80 per cent before 2019.
Bangladesh hopes to take this chance and increase jute product supply to these countries and raise its export volumes.