KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturers Association Substandard Iskander Khan said packing is causing an annual wastage of wheat flour worth Rs 35 billion besides risks to public health.
In a statement issued Saturday he said indifference of the concerned stakeholders, including government authorities and proprietors of flour mills, is aggravating food security situation.
Khan claimed that three to five percent wheat flour was lost during loading and unloading besides during transportation from flour mills to the ultimate users due to use of unsafe as well as inadequate packing material.
It was alleged that manufacturers were using bags made of substandard quality of plastic with high content of calcium carbonate for packing essential food as grains, fruit and vegetables.
Warning that this must be triggering human health issues, he said per capita consumption of flour in Pakistan stands at 11 kg and it is safe to assume that some part of it could be infected.
He also drew attention towards the tendency among manufacturers to paint these substandard sacks so as to hide impurities.
Iskandar Khan said using environment friendly polypropylene sacks to pack flour, rice, fruits and vegetables etc can help maintain quality.
Urging the authorities to exercise strong will in protecting the rights of masses, he said that it may have taken five years to make use of quality bags mandatory for sugar mills yet will not take more than year to compel flour mills owners to use polypropylene bags.”Implementation is the challenge,” he added.