Trade: (Rs 35 billion flour lost annually to inferior quality sacks)

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturers Association Iskander Khan on Sunday said that substandard packing is resulting in annual wastage of wheat flour worth Rs 35 billion while creating health issues.

He said three to five percent wheat flour is lost during loading unloading and transportation from flour mills to the ultimate user. The consumers suffer from wastage while it has an impact on the food security situation, he added.

He said that manufacturers are mixing plastic waste and high quantity of calcium carbonate in the bags used to pack grains, fruit and vegetables which can result in health issues. He said that per capita consumption of flour in Pakistan stands at 11 kg and it is safe to assume that some part of it could be infected. Moreover, the manufacturers paint the sacks to hide impurities.

He said that using environment friendly polypropylene sacks to pack flour, rice, fruits and vegetables’ etc. can help maintain quality, reduce losses and health hazards.

“It took five years to make use of quality bags mandatory for sugar mills while it took only one year to make flour mills compelled to use polypropylene bags by authorities but implementation is the challenge,” he said. He said the role of Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority in hammering out the issue was highly cooperative.

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