Bangladesh develops plastic alternative from jute
Scientists in Bangladesh have developed a method to convert Jute fibre into low-cost Bio-Degradable cellulose sheets dubbed as Sonali. It has been developed by the team of scientist working for state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). The commercial production of these bags is likely to start by end of 2019.
The word ‘Sonali’ is the Bengali word for ‘golden’.
Features: The physical qualities of invented jute fibre and plastic are quite similar.
They are not harmful for human health.
Eco-friendly jute poly bags made up of Sonali can be used-
- in garments and food packaging work.
- as wrapping material and carrying bag.
Significance: Bangladesh is world’s 2nd biggest producer of jute after India. Though Jute, also called as ‘golden fibre’ for its colour and its once-high price, has lost its sheen in past as demand has fallen but it is now being revived by being turned into low-cost biodegradable cellulose sheets that have the look and feel of plastic bag.
Way Ahead: The large scale adoption of Sonali sheet is challenging due to relatively high cost of production which is almost double that of polythene. However, production on a large scale is expected to bring down the cost. For this purpose Government of Bangladesh has approved 9 lakh dollars in April 2019 from its climate change fund to help in large-scale production of these bags.
Category: Science & Technology Current Affairs