Any green alternative is better than using plastic or other destructive materials. However, with the massive uptick in options becoming available, it’s only natural that people start picking apart which ones will make the best impact on the environment.
Typically, you hear people talk about cotton, canvas, and jute bags when talking about more sustainable and eco-friendly bag options; unless they’re talking about grocery bags, and then paper tends to be a favorite among Earth-conscious people, as well.
1: Food Byproduct
Jute isn’t its own crop. At least, the fibers that you see used to make bags aren’t grown specifically for that purpose. No, jute fibers are actually byproducts of the production of jute fruit. This is a staple ingredient in some eastern countries, and it has been produced in mass for centuries.
This is a big reason it’s so sustainable. Cotton, even though it’s extremely sustainable and eco-friendly, requires its own crops. That means that water, labor, land space, and everything else necessary to produce a crop are dedicated solely to the production of cotton.
With jute, it’s just part of another crop. The food is grown to feed families, and the jute is harvested from the food plants to make a multitude of products.
Talk about efficiency.
2: Minimal Processing
Jute hardly requires any processing to get it into a usable state. That’s why it’s been so popular since ancient times. Realistically, a person on a farm could sit down with little more than their hands, and turn an entire crop of jute fibers into usable fabric.
Obviously, that’s not practical when selling it to a global market, and machines are still used to process it in bulk. However, there are a lot fewer machines needed, and the ones used are very simple with minimal emissions.
Compare that to all the processing paper products have to go through, and you’re cutting out a lot of pollution; minimizing it to the absolute bare necessity.
3: Long-Lasting Solution
Jute bags can last an extremely long time. They’re about as durable as canvas, and that has been known to last for fifty or more years when cared for properly.
This means that far fewer jute bags have to be produced because once a bag is produced, it doesn’t need to be replaced quickly. Even though its cultivation and production processes are extremely eco-friendly, cutting back on waste is still a key part of being efficient.
Even better, when your jute bag does finally get worn out, you don’t have to worry about throwing away. It’s just plant fibers, and when you toss it in the bin, it’ll simply degrade naturally. If you want, you can even throw it in your compost bin; just make sure it doesn’t contain any chemical dyes or other unnatural parts if you do that.