What is jute and why is it recommended to replace plastic bags?

Jute is a material that stands out for its strength and durability. Is it a good substitute for plastic bags? Here we tell you.

Last update: June 10, 2022

In the search to contribute to caring for the environment, there are those who are constantly looking for materials that can replace plastic. One of the solutions that has gained popularity is jute. Does this option work?

It is an ecological and sustainable material fabric that has earned extra points compared to plastic bags due to its resistance and durability characteristics. Next, we will tell you what its advantages and disadvantages are.

What is jute?

Jute, also known as “golden fiber”, It is a plant whose scientific name is Corchorus Capsularis. It is produced mainly in India, where it also comes from. Still, it can grow in tropical regions.

There are several species, but the most used is white. Although the species Corchorus Olitorius either Tossa Jute is of better quality, it is usually more difficult to grow.

It is likely that you have a bag, a rug, a basket or a cloth made of this material without knowing it. Due to its advantages in the textile industry —and that it is also economical— It has been used to make various items for at least 5,000 years.

Main uses

  • Due to its resistance, jute is often used in the manufacture of bags for the storage and transport of agricultural products. It is common to see it as a packaging for cereals, sugar or potatoes.
  • It is not only used to replace shopping bags. It is also being used as option for silver bags, gift packaging, covers, among others.
  • In the automotive industry it is an element used in the manufacture of composite materials.
Due to its versatility, jute is ideal for the manufacture of bags, baskets, packaging, among other elements.


Advantages of jute: why is it better than plastic bags?

Due to its characteristics, jute is considered a better option compared to plastic. In fact, some advantages have been identified compared to materials made with cotton. Here is a list of its benefits.

  • It is 100% ecological. For its harvest, the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers is not required.
  • It is resistant and breathableideal to be used as a market bag because it prevents products from losing their freshness.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explains that one of the benefits of jute is that when planting it on one hectare, consumes 15 tons of carbon dioxide and transforms it into 11 tons of oxygen. More than some trees.
  • It can be mixed with other natural or synthetic fibers, dyed and printed, if desired.
  • It only needs 6 months to reach maturity. This means that it does not require a lot of land to grow it compared to other plants.
  • It is reusable.
  • It has a low thermal conductivity. It also has insulating and antistatic properties.
  • It’s economic.

Disadvantages of jute

The truth is that its disadvantages are nothing when compared to the benefits it offers. However, it is necessary to know them. One of the cons of jute is that it is very absorbent. Due to this, it is difficult to remove the stains that form on its surface.

Regarding the burlap, if it is immersed for a long time in water, it may disintegrate. In this sense, the ideal is to avoid humidity. If it gets wet, it must be dried in the open air. .

Jute or cotton: which is better?

If sustainability, maintenance and degradation are taken into account, jute is better than cotton from an environmental point of view. Although both fabrics are natural, jute requires less water to grow and does not need chemicals.

Likewise, it must be considered that jute is a strong, durable, economical and versatile fiber, making it a good option to replace many elements that are generally made of plastic. Without a doubt, if it is about replacing plastic bags, it is the best.

From an environmental point of view, jute outperforms other materials such as cotton.


One fiber, different uses

Given its strength and versatility, jute is used in the manufacture of various items for the home, such as carpets, ropes, burlap, clothing, baskets, market bags, among others.

Due to its environmental benefits, it has gained popularity as a substitute for plastic packaging. Many companies have even opted for this material when wrapping their products. Do you usually use it at home?

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