(April 06, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said more than Rs 90 billion can be saved annually by improving flour and cement packaging.
Food grade polypropylene bags can help save flour worth Rs50 billion which is being wasted in loading, unloading and transportation, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that losing such a large quantity of flour also leads to a loss of investment by farmers, millers and retailers which can be prevented.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that cement worth Rs 40 billion can be saved from being wasted by ensuring the packing of cement in proper bags.
Almost 60% of the total wheat production is sold as flour in five, ten and twenty kg bags in which the entire burden of losses is shifted to the consumers.
The use of plastic waste and chemicals in the manufacturing of conventional bags can also lead to health problems, he added.
An average Pakistani consumes 11 kg of flour per month which contains toxic ingredients because of a lack of oversight by government agencies.
Manufacturers of low-quality bags also print their products with dyes made from harmful chemicals, the use of which is tantamount to killing people.
Flour and cement are being wasted because of substandard packing which is against the laws of the country and directives of the World Health Organization, so this process should be stopped immediately.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the problem of food security was increasing in the country, the majority of the population could not feed themselves and their families and heavy foreign exchange had to be spent on importing wheat so the loss of flour should be stopped.
He further said that the demand for flour bags in Pakistan is up to 800 million and three to five per cent of flour is being lost due to leakage from substandard bags during flour production and transportation.
Cement bags are also being made from substandard paper and recycled plastic, which are later used for flour packaging, causing some of the cement to be added to the flour to cause disease, he informed.
If the existing laws are strictly enforced then billions of rupees of flour, cement and other items can be saved annually while the public health situation can also be improved.
The World Health Organization says that contaminated food causes 200 diseases.