KARACHI - Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) has urged the federal government to ensure implementation of UN guidelines for the storage of food items and make compulsory the use of jute bags for the packaging and long term storage of grains including wheat which will help government to reduce health burden of public and ensure food security in the county.

Secretary PJMA Muhammad Younus in a communication to MNFSR (Ministry of National Food and Security Research) added that it is scientifically proven fact that plastic bags are neither environment friendly nor biodegradable and generate cancerous dioxins during the recycling procedure while it is surprising that high-ups in the ministry of food security still consider it as big source for storage of wheat which is all against the international norms and health standards.

He further stated that all across the globe, use of polypropylene has been made to minimal because of the hazardous impacts it has on the human life and hence, use of jute bags has been suggested as the best alternative to store grains and other edibles.  Currently, Pakistan has a demand of 180 million bags per year and 60 million of this demand is met locally whereas the remaining demand is met by the jute bags being reused many times.  The jute industry has been contributing over Rs.800 million to the economy in the form of several duties, taxes, levies, surcharge and so on.

 Apart from this, the jute industry directly employs thousands of workers, which makes it one of the most labour-intensive industries in Pakistan, the PJMA said.