POST TIME: 3 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 October, 2018 10:05:25 PM
Agreement signed to produce jute-made ‘Sonali Bag’

Agreement signed to produce jute-made ‘Sonali Bag’

Polythene is destroying the country’s wetlands, canals, rivers and fertility of arable lands.

 The government is going to introduce environment-friendly "sonali bag" commercially. This will help reduce use of polythene.

Against this backdrop, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and Futamura Chemical Ltd., a UK-based company, for producing "sonali bag’ commercially yesterday.

BJMC secretary, AKM Tareq, and Futamura general manager, Graeme Coulthard, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations at the secretariat.

State Minister for Textiles

and Jute, Mirza Azam, was present at the MoU signing ceremony.

Among others, senior secretary of the ministry, Faizur Rahman Chowdhury, BJMC chairman, Dr Md Mahmudul Hasan, and the inventor, Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan, were present at the signing


“We have invented many jute items. Even the interior of Biman is made from jute. There were only 35 items when the AL-led government assumed power. Now we have introduced 285 items made from jute,” Mirza Azam told reporters after the MoU was signed.

The government is giving 20 per cent incentive on jute products, the state minister said, adding cabinet members will attend the cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Oct 3) carrying jute made briefcases, gifted by the jute and textile ministry.

“It is mandatory to use jute bags as per law. We are using 40 per cent of the total production of raw jute locally,” Azam said.

According to the state minister, flow of water in rivers and canals are being seriously affected or stopped due to polythene.

He said chief scientific officer, Mobarak Ahmad, is trying to produce jute made polythene manually at Latif Bawani Jute Mills. “Although we have reached the door of success, it is not possible to market it commercially at this moment,” he added.

The Prime Minister has named it "sonali bag", he said, adding that they finally found the UK-based Futamura Chemical Company that makes cellulose from wood.

“The company will design the machinery in the next 6-9 months as per the agreement. They will install it in Bangladesh. Company persons will stay in Bangladesh till the production begins. The company has also expressed their interest to invest in producing 'sonali bag' in Bangladesh,” Azam said.

 The machinery will be installed at Demra’s Latif Bawani Jute Mills, he added.

 “About 500 billion pieces of polythene is being produced annually across the world. Polythene will be banned globally soon. Bangladesh will be able to capture the market by exporting 'sonali bags',” he observed.

 As per the agreement, Bangladesh will produce the bags commercially within the next 6-9 months, said the state minister.

 The UK chemical company will supply the necessary instruments for this, he added.

The environment-friendly bags will be produced using a species of jute invented by Bangladeshi scientists, as an alternative to polythene bags.

"Sonali bag" is a biodegradable and environment-friendly jute-made poly bag. It can use repeatedly. The price will be very low considering the cost of production,” Mobarak Ahmad Khan said.

The US government has also sought jute polythene technology from Bangladesh considering its huge demand, the scientist said.