Pakistan’s economy is suffering a huge loss of Rs. 38 billion annually as a result of non-compliance of flour mill owners to use standard quality polypropylene woven sacks for packing and transportation of wheat flour.
According to an estimate, up to 5% of wheat flour is wasted annually during transportation – from flour mills to consumers – due to the substandard and non-food grade polypropylene sacks being used countrywide at the moment.
In May 2017, the federal government had issued a notification with an aim to stop the wastage of wheat flour, ordering manufacturers to get Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) license for polypropylene woven sacks for food items.
In July 2018, the manufacturers were again directed through a Public Notice by the government of Pakistan.
The 2017 Gazette notification had also directed consumers to abandon the use of sub-standard and unlicensed sacks and to only use PS certified (marked) polypropylene woven sacks.
However, the flour mill owners are yet to implement the 2017 Gazette notification and 2018 Public Notice to the letter.
According to the Chairman Pakistan Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturers Association, Iskander Khan, implementing the 2017 Gazette notification will ensure the availability of standard quality food bags with PS standard and license number inscribed on each bag and it will eliminate the low-quality bags that are mostly made from recycled material.
Chairman Pakistan Flour Mills Association, Asim Raza Ahmad, has said that flour mill owners will start using standard quality polypropylene woven bags if the government announces to abolish the sales tax on the bags.