The demand for pulp, the main raw material for producing paper, has been growing and green jute-based pulp can meet the increasing local and global demand.
China and European Union are closing their paper mills because of higher production costs and environmental reasons and Bangladesh can fill the void.
However, the pulp is now being imported and produced locally from recycled waste paper whose quality is not satisfactory, Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said Monday.
Ferdaus Ara was addressing the online dialogue on "Paper Pulp from Whole Jute Plant: Potential and Way Forward" organized by BUILD.
Mohammad Abul Kalam, additional secretary of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, said the economic viability of using the whole jute plant needs to be considered.
"Rigorous research will have to be conducted. Also, the practical scenario needs to be considered. An initiative can be taken to initiate technical assistance for public participation (TAPP) and project on whole jute plant-based paper pulping," he added.
Dr Md Monjurul Alam, former director-general of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, said cottage industries can be developed locally to run paper pulp manufacturing industries that will use the whole jute plant.
However, Dr Sarwar Jahan, director (Pulp and Paper) at Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, said: "It is not feasible to run the small-scale pulp industries because whole jute plant-based pulp will cost more than $11,00 per tonne."