Jute, the golden fiber Bangladesh – is the most sustainable material in the world. Bangladesh is sitting on the potential gold mine in the jute economy. Swedish company Juteborg is unleashing the jute potential in different sectors like automotive and transportation, textile and fashion, construction and interior and packaging.
Juteborg continuously innovates jute based high tech materials for a sustainable world. Based on several global reports, companies and countries are opting for sustainable solutions, more specifically in the plastic industry. For reference – EU plastic strategy which aims to reduce regular plastic usage by 80% in EU countries by 2021. We have 12 more years to act fast before its too late in sustainable living according to the climate change report – IPCC by the UN . These are accelerating the business potential more.
Juteborg Sweden AB as the Nordic company, formed a project called JutePP – the sustainable material for plastic products together with Esquire Accessories Ltd as local partner and JuteLab International and Inclusive Business Sweden as other Nordic partners.
The project facilitates the first ever commercial production of JutePP – jute fibre reinforced plastic granule. It will also validate the inclusive farmer to factory (F2F) jute supply chain model for future jute certification and jute farmers’ fair price
This awarded project is co-sponsored by the Nordic Climate Facility (NCF), which is a challenge fund that finances innovative climate change projects. NCF financing is allocated on a competitive basis with calls for proposals arranged annually. It is financed by the Nordic Development Fund, an international development and climate finance institution established by the Nordic countries.
The world needs to innovate around plastics to find the best solution for the plastic challenge by transforming from 100% oil based/micro plastics products to more sustainable products. In 2009, it was estimated that 10% of the modern waste was plastics (Thompson et al.), while, 50-80% of debris in marine areas is plastic. Plastics are resistant to most natural processes of degradation, therefore, some of that material might persist for centuries or much longer (Weisman, 2007). The global plastic market is expected to reach $654.38 billion By 2020. In Bangladesh, the market is $800+ million, and the export market is $300+ million. Bangladesh imports $1.7 billion/year worth plastic. Plastic and Cotton are amongst the top 6 imported products in Bangladesh Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already noted that Bangladesh will be among the worst victims due to climate change.
The JutePP – the sustainable material for plastic products, project aims to use the technical properties of Jute, a natural fiber grown in Bangladesh and India having the potential to create sustainable raw materials for plastic based applications. JutePP granules, as a raw material is the innovative alternative raw material to oil-based unsustainable plastic raw materials. The combination of 50% Jute and 50% polypropylene will reduce the plastic usage by half and has the potential to replace plastic completely by using biomaterial. A perfect solution to replace one of the topmost causes of carbon emission in the world i.e plastic. Juteborg, the lead Nordic partner and Esquire Accessories Ltd the local partner in Bangladesh will together produce JutePP will sell to the end plastic product manufacturers. The main raw material is Jute, grown & processed in Bangladesh which has the possibility to make the country self-sufficient which costs 30% less than the virgin plastic raw material, a great potential to gain the cost advantage. The environmental impact of the project is the avoidance of approximately 18K MT equivalent CO2 emission.
The Jute fiber is often connected with poverty reduction in Bangladesh. The project will also validate the Farmer to Factory (F2F) jute supply chain model which aims for establishing the future jute certification process while ensuring fair price to the Jute farmers. The social impact of the validation is primarily connecting 1200 farmers with increased income and ripple effects to their families positively impacting approximately 4,600 people. This validated model would also create an example for the entire Jute driven economy in Bangladesh where Jute contributes 1.6% to the national GDP (Jute economy Bangladesh, 2009). So, ensuring the fair price and increased demand for high-tech use for the Jute fiber through validating F2F, will create the possibility to lift the Jute farmers’ life by increasing their income. Inclusive Business Sweden and JuteLab International, the Nordic partners are supporting in the validation along with the whole project.
This project is classified to address both climate change mitigation and adaption which strongly aligns with the implementation country i.e Bangladesh’s national climate change strategies and plans. This is a big step forward towards the solution of having the best composite which will reduce the negative environmental impact of oil-based plastics in the world. Nordic companies will be an ally by validating the green business concept through this project.
A list of expected key results of the project
- Tested JutePP green business concept together with the validated inclusive Farmer to factory (F2F) jute supply chain model.
- 6 multi-stakeholder partnerships developed
- 4655 persons are benefited (Directly and indirectly) with improved livelihoods along the JutePP value chain in Bangladesh
- 615.6 tonnes of carbon emission is reduced from the replacement of the virgin polypropylene with JutePP granules at 50% jute concentration at project completion
- 18 550.08 tonnes of carbon emission equivalent reductions are expected during the lifetime of JutePP project’s mitigation investments