TODAY -

Jute bags versus Lenobags

Prof N Irabanta Singh *



Introduction: During the past one decade, traditional gunnybags or jutebags are hardly seen for packing agricultural produce such as onion, garlic, potato ,etc which are generally on sale at the Dharmasala area, Thangal Bazar, Kwairamband Keithel. These gunny bags have been replaced by colorful Plastic bags known as Leno bags. In this article, the writer try to explain how traditional jute bags market is declining whereas plastic made lenobags are flourishing in the market.

Jute bags: According to a rough estimates by the West Bengal Cold Storage Association (WBCSA), out of the nearly 10 crores bags used in 2010 for the potato packing in cold storage, about 6 crore were replaced by leno bags. Due to prolonged strike in jute mills during the potato harvesting season in 2010 had triggered large scale use of leno bags in the West Bengal state. Of this 8 crore bags used in 2010 cold storage season, about 3 crore were leno bags with the rest being old gunny bags.

According to Chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (JMA), jute is losing its traditional market. Unless the industry comes out with cheap substitute, it will be difficult to the jute industry to sustain itself (Commissioner/Jute, Govt. of India, 2010). The reason being, in gunny bags stored potato start decaying after certain point of time due to high moisture absorption nature of the jute.

Also, the market price of a leno bag is about Rs. 2/- less than jute bag, each of which costs about Rs. 10/- (Vice-President, West Bengal Cold storage Association, 2010).

Leno bags : It is a form of weave in which adjacent warps are twisted around consecutively(weft)to form a spiral pair effectively locking each weft in place. The paired warp tapes look like figure “8” down the length of the fabric. A bag made from such fabric is called Leno bag. The prime characteristics of leno bags are good aeration and strength. Lenobags are made either flat or of circular looms.

Types of Leno bags: A wide range of leno bags are available in the market. It includes PP lenobags, monobags, specialty bags such as tubular, circular for customers satisfaction. These bags are highly acknowledged for their quality and reliability.

PP laminated leno bags: These are small bags made out of PP (polypropylene) leno fabrics having lamination on it. This lamination enhances the fancy look and aesthetic appeal. It further gets improved when these lens fabrics are made from tapes of various color combination in both weft and warp direction.

The PP lamination is done using the conventional extrusion coating process. The lamination prevents the loose tap coming out of fabric. Hence, it is easy to fabricate into bags which involves operation like cutting with scissors, stitching in sewing machine, etc. this kind of bag is used to pack agriculture and customers products. These bags can accept loads up to 50 kg.

Monobags : These bags are used for packing of potatoes and vegetables on filling machines. They have soft but strong tape yarns and ideal for packing of various agricultural products.

Tubular Leno bags: It is known for its optimum quality. This type of bags are perfect for fruits such as citrus, etc., and various kinds of vegetables like potato, onion, cabbage, etc.

Raschel bags: These bags are used for packing of potatoes and vegetables on filling machines. They have soft but strong tape yarns and ideal for packing of various agricultural products.

Circular bags: It is made of PE tubular net. These bags are sewed at top and bottom and are available with different types of draw-string with different colors.

Advantages of Leno bags: · Excellent breadth ability, good tensile strength and burst strength.

o Lighter in weight and cost effective compared to jute bags.
o Does not impart odour to packed content, not attacked by fungus/insects and chemicals resistant.
o Environment friendly.
o Better Aesthetics.
o Increase the self-life of the contents.
o Wastage and spoilage are nil.

Advantages over conventional jute bags

o Excellent air permeability (Storage life of onions and potatoes is increased up to 50%).
o Good tensile and burst strength.
o Lighter in weight than jute hence transportation cost will be lower (jute bags of similar capacity are 3 times heavier than leno bags), Cheaper in comparison to jute bags.
o Reusable, however, number of cycles depends upon the material packed storage, handling and other relevant parameters.
o Do not impart any odour to the packed contents.
o Not attacked by fungus, insects and rats.
o Resistant to corrosive chemicals.
o Safe in direct contact with food products and did not cause physical contamination
o Can be reprocessed
o Easy visual inspection of contents packed is possible in leno bags, Jute production is almost stagnant and there is scarcity of the jute bags whereas polypropylene is abundantly available.

Discussion: The plastic industry always wanted to top the potato packaging market. During 2010 jute mill strike in West Bangel gave them this opportunity. The chairman, Indian Jute Mill Association states “The farmer should understand that the jute has been a time-tested packaging material.”

Conclusion: The arrival of leno bags has sounded like the death bell for traditional jute bags.


* Prof N Irabanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Former Professor (Higher Academic grade)/Life Sciences, MU
This article was webcasted on March 07, 2019.



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