Sustainability and eco-friendliness has been a rising trend for the past few years; with more organisations and governments backing pro-green initiatives. As a humble consumer, we can do our part to conserve the environment, but sometimes we are stuck with non biodegradable products given to us at the grocery store. Jute has been around for a while now, but has made a resurgence and it can be the greenest alternative to plastic bags yet.
Jute is a plant-based fiber that is primarily used for clothes, paper, rope, sacks and baskets. Almost exclusively found in South and South East Asia, the material has found mainstream success in making the aforementioned products and can come with a plethora of perks:
Biodegradable: The material has a life-expectancy of approximately one to two years and triumphs many other materials on this front. It is 100% biodegradable. Even when the material is scrapped or discarded, it can be used as an organic fertilizer for crops.
Durable: It’s understandable to be concerned about its durability if the material’s biodegradability is so swift. In its lifespan, the material has been used for sturdier products such as carpets, furniture and decorations.
Agriculturally Sound: It only takes four to six months for the plant to fully mature. Which means it does not occupy much land nor does it disrupt ecosystems during its plantation. Once harvested, the land in which Jute was farmed at is left with rich and fertile soil that can be reused for other plants. During its entire growth process, it does not require pesticides or fertilizers, making its entire growth process completely organic.
Cheap and reusable: Jute is one of the cheapest natural materials around and can contest the affordability of cotton and other natural alternatives. Its affordability is complemented by its ability to be reused unlike plastic bags.
Low CO2 footprint: Farming jute on a large scale does nothing harmful to the environment. In fact, the plant photosynthesises at a faster rate than other plants and has been recorded to absorb 15 tons of CO2 and release 11 tons of oxygen in one season.
Reusable: Plastic bags were designed to have a one-time use, while Jute bags can be reused as many times as you see fit without wearing out the material.
These reasons alone should give anyone the understanding that Jute is mankind’s best bet when fighting to minimise the use of plastic materials. Many countries around the world such as Taiwan, South Africa and the United States have taken active measures to slow the unrelenting distribution of plastic bags at local grocery stores, however as consumers, we can do our part by eliminating plastic from our person.
Bangladesh is one of the most prevalent spots to harvest jute and getting in Dhaka or Chittagong should be a breeze. If your local shops fall short on this common material, you can try local online stores such as Jotal or any other ecommerce platforms that deliver to your area. It might not be the most versatile material to pull off ambitious fashion statements, but it certainly does look good with just enough creativity. Jute is an overall essential to environmental conservation and it takes just one bag to take out wasteful plastic disposal for good.
Source: United News of Bangladesh