The newly identified products which might come under the act are ginger, garlic, onion, potato, fish feed, poultry feed, flour, chillies, pulse, coriander and rice bran.
Md Kefaet Ullah, director of Department of Jute, said: “The decision of adding the new products under the jute packaging act might come soon. It is likely to be taken at the executive meeting which will be held at the end of this month.”
To promote the jute sector, on January 2014, the government enacted the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010 – under which all kinds of packaging in the country’s business sector have to be made by jute.
According to the act, paddy, rice, wheat, maze, fertiliser and sugar must be packaged in jute bags. Violators will be subjected to a maximum of one-year prison term or a fine of Tk50,000, and both for using non-degradable synthetics to package commodities.
Last year, Bangladesh produced around 7.5 million bale of raw jute of which 900,000 was surplus.
According to the jute department, one bale of jute produces around 238 pieces of jute sacks, each of which can be filled with 50kg of any item.
The government is also planning to boost raw jute production from next season so that the country can export raw jute again after meeting domestic demand.
“Steps have already been taken to increase production of raw jute and resume export,” said Kefayet Ullah.
The government has set a target to produce 8.5 million bales of raw jute from this year, he added.
Currently, the country uses 30 to 40 crore pieces of jute sacks, to meet the demand of all existing mandatory jute packaging products – paddy, rice, wheat, maze, fertiliser and sugar.
The jute department official said: “We will need another 10 crore pieces of jute sacks for the twelve new products.”