Jute is a versatile, natural fiber that has been used for thousands of years to make things such as rope, twine, hessian bags, rugs, and much more.
While it’s still being used extensively around the world, it’s not as popular as it could (or should) be - especially considering its outstanding environmental benefits. Given the increasing focus on environmental issues these days, jute might just be in for a crack at the bigtime.
Here are the major environmental benefits of jute:
- Jute cleans the air: Studies indicate that, one hectare of jute plants can consume up to 15 tons of carbon dioxide and release 11 tons of oxygen during the jute growing season (about 100 days).
- Less fertilizer, herbicides, & pesticides: Relatively modest amounts of fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticides are required for jute cultivation - especially in comparison to cotton.
- Improves soil conditions: During jute cultivation, large portions of leaves and roots remain with the soil. This results in improved soil fertility.
- Improves other crops: When jute is rotated with other crops, it can improve the health of those other crops and reduce their risk of attracting pests and disease.
- Jute has high biological efficiency: Jute can be harvested within 4 to 6 months, and can produce between 20 to 40 ton of dry stem per hectare. In comparison, the fastest growing trees take between 10 and 14 years to mature. Also, trees will only produce between 8 to 12 ton, per hectare, annually.
- Sound agricultural practices: Studies have found that typical jute agricultural practices are environmentally sound - they cause minimal impact to the natural enviroment.
- Biodegradability: Jute products are 100% biodegradable and recyclable. They can also be disposed of without causing environmental hazards.
As long as the processing of jute is done in an eco-friendly way, jute has enormous potential as an eco-friendly alternative to its mainstream rivals such as cotton and trees.