The State of Polypropylene Woven Sack Industry in Bangladesh and Its Environmental Perspective

View with images and charts

The State of Polypropylene Woven Sack Industry in Bangladesh and Its Environmental Perspective


Increased production and expansion of trade is one of the main means of local resource generation. Employment opportunities can be created in a heavily populated country like Bangladesh with the promotion of commerce by strengthening industrial infrastructure, proper industrial development and finally enhancing export. This employment will pave the way for increased savings and investment, ensure capital flow, solve unemployment problems and eradicate poverty. In the past, jute sector was the major foreign exchange earner contributing more than 80 percent of the total foreign exchange of the country. But the share of jute sector towards foreign exchange earning started to decline due to the inroad of various synthetic substitutes and artificial fibers. Regarding the evolving issue special initiatives were taken by the concerned authorities at that time. But subsequently, it was evident that the nationalization attempt did not really help improve the performance of the jute industries. Rather, their performance marked continuous deterioration and bound them to discontinue their production. As a result market opportunity for synthetic fibers was inevitable and its entrance as raw material to the sack manufacturing industry was just a matter of time. Therefore, gani sacks, which were once made only from jute, were fully taken by the polypropylene woven sack manufacturing industry with the commencement of their production. It was the story of early nineties when Miracle Industry Ltd, the first pioneer in Polypropylene woven sack manufacturing industries incorporated as a joint venture Public Limited Company, with Bangladesh Government though its largest corporation, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) to setup their industrial infrastructure. The commercial production was started from 1996. After then the Polypropylene woven sack industries in Bangladesh gradually started to flourish. The cheap price of its products and their demand in the secondary sack market has made it one of the major industrial developments of the country. It is set mostly up by private entrepreneurs, borrowing its idea, setup machinery and raw materials from various foreign sources. In this regard several policies of the government have provided a better atmosphere to develop the sector. But a probe into its expansion raises several points that show some flaws, which will ultimately hinder its progress and objective. This report tries to opine those invisible flaws by examining the history, present state and activities of Polypropylene industries in Bangladesh with some suggestions to overcome these problems.

Objective of the Research Project

The main objective of the study is to provide a descriptive look on the polypropylene woven sack industries in Bangladesh that has been accomplished by the researcher through anticipated and opportunistic courses of action.

More specifically the objectives are:

  • Reasons behind the development of the Polypropylene Sack Industries
  • Present market scenario of Polypropylene Woven Sack Industries
  • An overview of the market Demand and supply situation
  • A look at the Industries/Manufacturers/Others who are the potential buyers of Polypropylene Woven Sack
  • Understanding the quality of manufactured Polypropylene Woven Sacks in the industries of Bangladesh and the additional measures that can be taken to make it fully eco-friendly
  • Activity performed by the reuse/recycle market of Polypropylene Woven Sacks
  • Finally, existing policies of the government regarding export of Polypropylene woven sack and expansion of the infrastructure of these industries

Benefits from the Research Project

The primary benefit of the research paper is to give a picture of the state of Polypropylene Woven Sack Industries in Bangladesh. The study also tries to present a statistic on Polypropylene Sack Industries in terms of number of industries, cost, Locations and raw materials used. The main benefits, which are intended to earn by this research paper, are to make an overall assessment of the Polypropylene Woven Sack quality regarding its environmental parameters and to suggest further courses of action, which can make this sack environmentally sound. Findings from the survey not only demonstrate the rapid growth of Polypropylene Sack Industries in Bangladesh but also try to suggest essential initiatives required from environmental perspectives to make the sack photo chemically and biologically degradable.

Structure of the Report

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Methodology

Chapter Three: Fundamentals of Polymer Physics and Its Manufacturing Chemistry

Chapter Four: Present Market Scenario of Polypropylene Woven Sack in Bangladesh and Findings from the Survey

Chapter Five: Possibility of setting up High Quality PP Sack Plant

Chapter Six: Truly Green Sack for Sustainable Earth

Chapter Seven: Worldwide/Foreign Market Demand of Polypropylene Woven Sack

Chapter Eight: Conclusion & Recommendation



Chapter Two: Methodology

Sources of Data

Majority of the data used in this report is primary data. Primary Data for this report has been collected through extensive market survey, physical observation, informal interviews and factory visit. The area coverage of the survey was Dhaka, Munshiganj, Naraynganj and some districts from North Bengal. Secondary data, collected mostly from articles found in the Internet, has also been used to enrich the findings of the report.

Sampling Technique & Sample Scope

The sampling model used here is “Purposive Sampling”. The target was to cover the major companies engaged in the following business areas:

· Woven Plastic Sack Producers

· Cement Producers, who either produce or purchase sacks for own consumption

· Flour Producers, who either produce or purchase sacks for own consumption

· Animal Food Producers, who either produce or purchase sacks for own consumption

· Fertilizer producers, who either produce or purchase sacks for own consumption

As the sample size was very limited, this approach was deemed to produce the best result as it could cover the majority of the market dimensions.

Data Processing and Analysis

Collected information was processed with the aid of excel software. Detailed analysis is incorporated in the report, also with a suggested course of action for both:

(1) Woven Sack Production Machinery, and

(2) Polypropylene woven Sack

Table 2.1:Sample Size Covered in the Survey

Category No. Of Companies Interviewed
PP Sack Producers
Woven Plastic Sack producers 09
PP Sack Users/Buyers
Cement Producers, either produce or purchase for own consumption. 14
Animal Feed Producers, either producing or purchasing for own consumption. 08
Flour Producers, producing or purchasing for own consumption 02
Total 33

Figure 2.1:Ploting of sample size covered in the survey

Source: BMG BD 2005

Source: BMG BD 2005

Chapter Three: Fundamentals of Polymer Physics and Its Manufacturing Chemistry

Polymer science addresses the chemistry and physics of large, chain-like molecules. As with the molecules themselves, this technical pursuit is diverse and complicated. The following discussion provides an introduction to the Physics and Manufacturing Chemistry of synthetic organic polymers for those with some knowledge of basic science.

What is Polymer?

The term “polymer” is derived from the Greek “poly”, meaning “many”, and “mer”, meaning “parts” — thus polymers are substances made of “many parts”. In most cases the parts are small molecules, which react together hundreds, or thousands, or millions of times. A molecule used in producing a polymer is a “monomer” — mono is Greek for single, thus a monomer is a “single part”. A polymer made entirely from molecules of one monomer is referred to as a “homopolymer”. Chains that contain two or more different repeating monomers are “copolymers”.


Polymerization is the process of joining together a large number of small molecules to make a smaller number of very large molecules. The reactants (i.e. the small molecules from which the polymer is constructed) are called <href=”#Monomer”>Monomers and products of the polymerization process are called <href=”#Polymer”>Polymers. There are significant differences between the chemical and physical properties of polymers and those of the monomers from which they are made. This polymerization process can occur by two different mechanisms: by <href=”#AdditionPolymerisation”>addition polymerization and <href=”#CondensationPolymerisation”>condensation polymerization

Addition Polymerization

Addition polymerization is the joining together of two or more simple molecules, called <href=”#Monomer”>Monomers, to form a new compound of the same empirical formula, called a polymer, which has a very high molecular weight.

The addition polymerization process can only occur when the monomer molecule is unsaturated (i.e. contain double bonds or triple bonds). Thus, addition polymerization is characteristic of ethene and the other ethenes.

The polymers formed by addition polymerization are thermoplastic. These include Polypropylene and Polystyrene.

Condensation polymerization

This may be defined as the process in which the monomer molecules of different compounds combine with the loss of some simple molecules, like water or HCl. Polyesters and nylon are formed by this process.

(Source: Britannica Student Encyclopedia. 2006)


Isotactic is a term used to describe physical properties of polymer.In this phenomenon chains are defined as having substituent groups aligned in one direction. This enables them to line up close to each other, creating crystalline areas and resulting in highly rigid polymers.

Finally isotactic polymers refer to those polymers formed by branched monomers that have the characteristic of having all the branch groups on the same side of the polymeric chain. The monomers are all oriented in the same way. If we represent a monomer by AB then an isotactic polymer is AB-AB-AB-AB-AB-etc.


Not clear, not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy. No light passes through specimen. Some thick specimens, which appear to be opaque, may be seen to be translucent (when light passes through the specimen, but objects cannot be seen through it

) Or even transparent on thin edges when held in front of bright light.


Semicrystalline polymers constitute the largest group of commercially useful polymers. These polymers exists as viscous liquids at temperatures above the melting point of the crystals. Upon cooling, crystals nucleate and grow to fill the available volume. The reason these materials are called “semicrystalline” is that some fraction of the polymer remains un-crystallized, or, amorphous when the polymer is cooled to room temperature. The amorphous polymer becomes trapped between the growing crystals. As a result of the highly entangled nature of the polymer chains, the movement of the amorphous polymer becomes restricted.

(Source: 2006)


Ordinary Polypropylenes because of their molecular make-up are not inherently biodegradable even though its molecular structure is simply composed of organic carbon and hydrogen. Polypropylene is relatively large molecule so it is too large to be ingested by microbes. With the use of Prodegradant Additives, Polypropylene’s life cycle can be controlled by accelerating the natural oxidative process to fracture these large carbon chains into small ingestible fragments of organic carbon. These additives lie dormant in the manufactured resin until exposed to sufficient UV light, heat or mechanical stress, any one or combination of which will trigger the process.Once triggered it cannot be stopped; and depending on the available oxygen and microbial activity, the process will continue in air or soil. The only by-products from the process are CO2, H2O and biomass – there are no harmful residues. So Oxo-Biodegradation is a two steps process in which the polymer resin first disintegrate in to parts and oxidize by the influence of light and oxygen then these small fragments are ingested by microorganism like fungi, bacteria.

(Source: Ecosafe Biodegradable Plastic, Copyright ©2000-2006 Plastics Solutions Canada Inc)

What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a raw material used in manufacturing polypropylene woven sacks for packaging cement, fertilizers, poultry feeds, wheat, rice, sugar and pulses, etc. Polypropylene granules that are a by-product of petroleum, is the main constituent needed to manufacture polypropylene woven sack. Other elements used to manufacture this sack are calcium carbonate and color granules. Polypropylene is basically semi-crystalline, white and semi-opaque element, which is usually predominantly isotactic. Polypropylene has well chemical but poor UV resistance. As it has been said earlier polypropylene is a product of Petroleum, created hundreds of millions of years ago when organic matter such as plankton was compressed and trapped in huge carbon reservoirs as petroleum. Petroleum, a naturally occurring mixture that is obtained from wells (crude oil), is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are crude oil’s fundamental base consisting of about 85-90% carbon and 9-15% hydrogen. In addition, a various amount of oxygen and sulfur, and minute amounts of nitrogen, metals and other elements are also included in its composition. Carbon, present in the crude oil is characteristically organic. Organic carbon is different from carbon metal in that its origin is primarily organic plant tissues like any organic material in our environment, it is the primary food source for the tens of thousands of different microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) that survive and thrive in our air, soil and water. Like paper that is made from another organic material – cellulose, polypropylene is made from the hydrogen and the “organic” carbon in petroleum, and like paper, polypropylene can also be made biodegradable. (Source: 2006)

Picture 3.1:Polypropylene granules

Chapter Four: Present Market Scenario of Polypropylene Woven Sack in Bangladesh and

Findings from the Survey

Machinery Used in Manufacturing Polypropylene Woven Sack

The categories of users are as follows:

Category-1: Woven Plastic Sack Producers who sell to external parties

Category-2: Companies that produce Woven Plastic Sack for their own consumption

Nine companies that fall under Category 1 (sack producers only) were interviewed. In general, the interviewees responded/replied well on the topics like Yearly Production Capacity, Unit Selling Price (Tk.) per bag, Bag Size/ Weight, etc. They also disclosed the Manufacturer Company/ Brand of the Plant that they are currently using, and the country of origin of this machinery. The response was very limited when it came to cost aspects of the business. None of the respondents agreed to provide the Plant Setting Cost. Regarding ‘Raw Material Cost per Bag’, the respondents gave an idea on the “percentage of costs” associated with raw materials for bag production, but did not give any specific figures.

From the survey, it was found out that these producers are predominantly using machinery imported from China. The reason for the popularity of China is the mix of price-quality they offer, with more emphasis on price, rather than quality. The price of Chinese machinery is substantially low compared to other brands. The price of Indian machinery is also low, and one of the companies interviewed is using Indian machinery.

It was observed that, while making the machinery purchase decision, companies tend to focus on the price aspect more, rather than the quality. From the quality perspective they are well acquainted to brands like “Starlinger” which is renowned worldwide. The interviewees commented that they understand the motto –High Quality, High Price– and also know the fact that raw material costs are low in case of such brands but due to the price sensitivity interviewees fear that it would be a bit difficult for Starlinger or others, to sell their machinery at the beginning, in Bangladesh, because of the price sensitivity of the market.

The table in the following page presents in detail the findings from the survey:

Table 4.1: Findings from the Survey, Polypropylene Woven Sack Producers

Company Name GQ Industries Ltd. United Fibre Industries Ltd. Sino Bangla Industries Ltd. Miracle Industries Limited Alliance Bag Limited Hussian Bags Limited Shovan Woven Bag Mfg. Co. Ltd. Jayson Group Of Companies
Business Type PP Sack Producer PP Sack Producer PP Sack Producer PP Sack Producer PP Sack Producer PP Sack Producer PP, Paper and also Shopping Bags Producer PP Sack Producer
Bag Type

(AD*STAR& Standard Sack)

Standard Both Both Standard Both Standard Both Standard
Production cost

per unit

(not disclosed by the respondents)
Yearly Production Capacity 3,65,000
















Unit selling price (Tk.) 11 13 (Double Ply)

10 (Single Ply)

13 (Double Ply)

10 (Single Ply)

11 13-14 (Double ply)

9.5 – 11 (Single Ply)

12 13-14 (Double ply)

9.5 – 11 (Single Ply)

Bag Size 25/50, 22/44 25/50, 22/44 W- 25; L- 50 19*29 &22*38 W- 25; L- 50 24/44
Bag Weight 100-110gm 100-110gm 110-115 gm 110-120
Raw Material Cost Per Bag 80% – 90% 90% 80% – 90% 80% – 90% 9.00 tk 80% – 90% 9-10 tk
Raw Material Source China, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia China, India Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, & India, China China, India China, India Australia China, India Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, & India
Plant Setting Cost (not disclosed by the respondents)
Plant Manufacturer Company/ Brand Rising GCL LOOM MACHINE Yarn Frang

Source: Sample survey BMG BD 2005

Table 4.1: Findings from the Survey, Polypropylene Woven Sack Producers (Continued)

Company Name GQ Industries Ltd. United Fibre Industries Ltd. Sino Bangla Industries Ltd.* Miracle Industries Limited Alliance Bag Limited Hussian Bags Limited Shovon Woven Bag Mfg. Co. Ltd. Jayson Group Of Companies
Country Of origin, Machinery India Taiwan India (before: China) Greece China Taiwan China
Man Power Required 150
Interviewee Comments on Starlinger Machinery Competitive market Competitive market Competitive market Good prospect Competitive market Competitive market Good Prospect Competitive market

Source: Sample survey BMG BD 2005

Scope and Area of Polypropylene Woven Sack

The users of Polypropylene Woven Sack were interviewed to find out the market mechanism and demand of this item. The users of Polypropylene Woven Sack come from many industries (like: Cement Producers, Animal Feed Producers, Flour Producers, Fertilizer Producers, Sugar Mills, Rice Mills, Salt Producers, Tea Gardens, Cereals Producers, Chemicals Industries, etc.). Of these different categories, PP Sack users of the following three categories were covered in the survey:

· Cement Producers

· Animal Feed Producers

· Flour Producers.

The approach was made in way to cover both of these following aspects:

· What is the demand of Woven Bags, and how they are procuring it

· Whether they are interested to set up own plant/unit to meet own demand of sacks?

Among the companies interviewed, fourteen are engaged in Cement production, eight in Animal Feed and two in Flour production. The interviewees generally stated that they procure the woven bags from external sources like Shovon Woven Bag Mfg. Co. Ltd., Sino Bangla Industries Ltd., Miracle Industries Limited, etc. In general, they are not interested to set up plants or manufacturing units to produce bags. A remark of one of such interviewees was “We are here to produce cement, not bags”. They feel that their expertise lies in the core business, and they do not want to deviate from the core business area.

The first exception to this general approach is Shah Cement. Shah Cement has established a P.P. woven sack plant for its own consumption, based on Starlinger machineries (Austrian origin). The second exception in this collective approach is Premier Cement. They are very much interested to setup a 36 million capacity plant to manufacture P.P. woven sack for their own consumption.

The prices of the bags used in the cement industry vary according to the types of bags. For double ply bags, the price varies from 12 Tk. – 14 Tk per bag. For single ply bags, prices vary from 9.50 Tk. to 11.00 Tk. The weight of bags is more or less constant, which is 110 gm.

Figure 4.1: Comparision of Bags price

Source: BMG BD 2005

The demand for bags in cement industry is high. These fourteen companies interviewed alone stated a yearly demand of around 110 million bags per year. But, this demand for bags comprises of both “paper bags” and “PP bags”. In the rainy seasons, the producers have to use the PP Sacks. But, in other seasons, some producers prefer to use “paper bags” instead of “PP bags”. The ratio of PP Bags to Paper Bags consumed in a year is approximately 70:30.

Now, to estimate the demand of PP bags in a year in the cement industries, we would have to take 70% of the total demand (110 millions), which comes to around 77 Millions. So, the yearly demand for PP bags of these companies interviewed is estimated to be 77 Millions.

The major suppliers of bags for cement industries are: Sinobangla, Simly Industries, Shovon, S.Alam, and Maghna Group. Data could be obtained from only one Flour Producer. Its yearly consumption of bags is 0.80 million. Bag weight is 110 gm, and price is 13 tk. The supplier is Super Thai Plastic Ltd.

In case of Animal Feed Producers, the yearly demand of bags (of the 08 companies interviewed) is around 9 million. Bag weight is 110 gm price varies from tk. 13.50 to tk. 15.50. The suppliers for these industries are: Alliance Bags Ltd., Miracle, Sinobangla, Bengal Poly Bags, GQ Industries Ltd. Rails Agro, and Maghna Group.

Point to be noted that this demand of PP Bags discussed in this section represents the demand of the thirty-three (33) bag users interviewed in this survey only. Also, note that companies from three sectors (Cement producers, Animal Feed producers, and Flour producers) were interviewed. Demand will also come from various other sectors (like Fertilizer Producers, Sugar Mills, Rice Mills, Salt Producers, Tea Gardens, Cereals Producers, Chemicals Industries, etc.).

As it was said earlier for polypropylene woven sack-manufacturing “Starlinger” is a well-known brand to these producers. Starlinger has two type of woven sack. One is AD*STAR (especially for cement) and another is Standard sack (for other materials). Producers are already aware of the quality aspects of this brand and also the environmental features, which is one of the main focuses of my study area. But none of the manufacturers are interested or concerned about the environmental feature of this sack. What they are interested about is the price and delivery of the sack. One of the interviewee said that if timeliness of delivery can be assured, and price is competitive, these companies will prefer to buy AD*STAR bag to the other choices.

As per the interviewee comments, the Key Success Factors for a polypropylene woven sack producer/supplier are as follows:

· Timeliness of Delivery (very very important)

· Quality of the Product (very important)

· Price of the Product (very important)

Regarding the quality aspect, these potential buyers are already aware and are convinced of the better position of AD*STAR bag in respect to its better position over any local product. If delivery schedule can be maintained, and price is competitive, then, all the respondents said that AD*STAR will gain a fantastic market share.

In the words of a respondent, “AD*STAR can be as successful as ECONO ball pens if they can supply bags at a good price”. (Source: Survey of this Research)

The table in the following page presents the findings from the survey in details.

Table 4.2: Findings from the Survey Polypropylene Woven Sack Consumer

Company Name Business Type Yearly Demand (pcs) Supplier Bag Size Bag Weight Unit Price (Tk.) Interviewee Comments (ADSTAR Bag)
Russel Industries Ltd. Cement Producer 73,00,000 Sino Bangla, Simly Industries, Shovon 25/50 115gm 12.00 -14.00 Good Prospect
Elephant Brand Cement Cement Producer 72,00,000 Maghna Group, Sinobangla, Shovon 24/44 110gm 11.00 Good Prospect
Crown Cement Cement Producer 60,00,000 Maghna Group 25/50 110gm 11.00 – 12.00 Good Prospect
Metropolitan Cement Ltd. Cement Producer 15,00,000 Maghna Group, Shovon 25/50 110gm 12.00 – 13.00 Good Prospect
Heidelbergcement Bangladesh Ltd. (Scan Cement/Ruby Cement) Cement Producer 2,92,00,000 Maghna Group, Sinobangla, S.Alam, Shovon 22/44




9.50 – 13.00 Good Prospect
Nitol Cement Cement Producer 11,50,000 Sinobangla, Maghna Group L- 112


110gm 12.00 -14.00 Good Prospect
Niloy Cement Cement Producer 10,00,000 Sinobangla, Maghna Group L- 112


110gm 12.00 -14.00 Good Prospect
Lafarge Cement Cement Producer Have not started production yet. Will start from September-2005. Estimated yearly demand (as per interviewee): 20 million pcs. Good Prospect
Confiedence Cement Ltd. Cement Producer 48,00,000 Local Market L- 112


160gm 13.00 Bad Prospect

Source: Sample survey BMG BD 2005

Table 4.2: Findings from the Survey Polypropylene Woven Sack Consumer (Continued)

Company Name Business Type Yearly Demand (pcs) Supplier Bag Size Bag Weight Unit Price (Tk.) Interviewee Comments (ADSTAR Bag)
Olympic Cement Industries Ltd. Cement Producer 72,00,000 Shovon, Sinobangla, Seven Rings L- 112


160gm 13.00 Good Prospect
Premier Cement Cement Producer 1,08,00,000 Shovon,GQ Industries Ltd. L- 112


160gm 13.00
Meghna Cement (Basundhara Group) Contacted. Interviewee informed the researcher that he will come back with the answers, after approval of

top management. Follow-up done by researcher. Reply not received till date.

Unique Cement Industries Ltd. Cement Producer 90,00,000 Magna Group L- 112


160gm 13.00 Good Prospect
Shah Cement Industries Ltd. Cement Producer 2,40,00,000 Shah Cement Industries Ltd. (Sack Unit) L- 112


160gm 13.00 Good Prospect
General Flour Mills Ltd. Flour Producer 8,00,000 Super Thai Plastic Ltd. L- 112


110gm 13.00 Good Prospect
Nurani Flour Mills Ltd. Contacted. Interviewee informed the researcher that he will come back with the answers after approval of

top management. Follow-up done by researcher. Reply not received till date.

Source: Sample survey BMG BD 2005

Table 4.2: Findings from the Survey, Polypropylene Woven Sacks Consumer (Continued)

Company Name Business Type Yearly Demand (pcs) Supplier Bag Size Bag Weight Unit Price (Tk.) Interviewee Comments (ADSTAR Bag)
Kazi Farms Ltd. Animal Feed Producer 24,00,000 Bangla Poly, Ab Oven Bag, Sun Yead 22/44 100gm 9.50 Good Prospect
Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd. Animal Feed Producer 24,00,000 Alliance Bags ltd., Miracle, Sinbangla L- 112


110gm 13.50 Good Prospect
Quality, Feed Ltd. Animal Feed Producer 3,65,000 Alliance Bags Limited 25/50 110gm 13.50 Good Prospect
22/38 70-75gm 8.00
Mondal Agro Industries Ltd. Animal Feed Producer 6,00,000 Bengal Poly Bags, GQ Industries Ltd. L- 112


110gm 13.00 Good Prospect
Lion Feeds Limited Animal Feed Producer 12,00,000 Rails Agro 25/50 110gm 12.00 – 13.00 Good Prospect
C.P.Bangladesh Animal Feed Producer 6,00,000 Local Market 25/50 110gm 12.00 – 13.00 Good Prospect
Paragon Group Animal Feed Producer 10,00,000 Maghna Group, Sinobangla, Miracle, Alliance Bags 24/44 110gm 15.50 Good Prospect
20/33 85gm 11.20
Saudi Bangla Fish Feed Ltd. Fish Feed Producer 8,00,000 Maghna Group, Sinobangla, Miracle, Alliance Bags 24/44 110gm 10.00 – 12.00 Good Prospect

Source: Sample survey BMG BD 2005

Raw Material Sources of PP Woven Sack

The raw materials of P.P. woven sacks mostly come from Saudi Arabia. Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, China & India are the other countries from where supplies of the raw materials of P.P. woven also sack come to Bangladesh. According to the demography and as one of our neighbor India is the nearest country from where P.P. granules could be collected easily. But for the congestion in land-ports and for other bureaucratic problem it is easier to bring raw material from Singapore than India said by one of the interviewee who is an importer of P.P. granules. Some manufacturing industries of P.P. woven sacks import P.P. granules by their own self and other collect from the importer. Most of these importer’s shops are located at Urdu Road (K.B. Rudra Road), Horonath Gosh Road of Lalbagh of old Dhaka. Regarding the price aspect the importers don’t want to disclose much. One of the interviewee said that one metric Ton of P.P. granule cost .12 million taka. Also regarding the Duty aspect they are very much evasive. One of the importers told me tentative percent of duty, which was 15% previously and now presently 13% imposed on P.P. granule import. P.P. raw materials are very much price sensitive. Its price fluctuates all over the year. The price volatility of P.P. raw materials depends on several conditions. Which are Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) output and supply, Terrorism, Weather/storms, War or any other unforeseen geo-political factors that cause supply disruptions, Global demand particularly from emerging nations, Dollar fluctuations, Refinery fires & funds buying etc. (Source:Multi Commodity Exchange, India, 2006)

Perceived Brand Value and Market Demand of High Quality Machinery and Sacks

While assessing the present status of PP Woven Sack Industries in Bangladesh, I have found that no standard machinery brand name is known to the users or persons related to this sector. They are using machinery from various sources, but no one was able to affirm the highest quality brand name available in this sector. So, after lots of surveying, talking and searching I found that the highest-ranking brand that provides the best quality machinery for this sector worldwide is “Starlinger” of Austria. But surprisingly this brand is the least chosen one in Bangladesh.

1. Potential buyers of Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturing Machinery

Producers of Woven Bags:

The existing producers of woven bags already have a set up. The origin of machinery used is predominantly China, because of the price advantage. None of the interviewees expressed and plan of expansion or setting a new production line. So, the possibility of new sales is very low in this segment. The option for replacement machinery is also low, as, the potential customers perceive Starlinger as “High Quality, High Value”, and the preference of the market is “Lower-priced Machinery”.

Users of Woven Bags:

As discussed earlier, the users of woven sack are not interested to set up plants/units to produce bags. They feel that their expertise lies in the core business, and they are unwilling to deviate from the core business areas.

So, the prospect of Starlinger or such machinery in Bangladesh can be anticipated as “very slow” in the beginning.

2.Potential buyers of Woven Sack

As mentioned earlier, AD*STAR bag is a known item to the Cement/Flour/Animal Feed producers of Bangladesh. All of these are potential buyer of the AD*STAR Bag. If timeliness of delivery can be assured, and price is competitive, these companies will prefer to buy AD*STAR bag to the other choices. It may be worth mentioning here that Scan Cement / Ruby Cement was also very interested in the AD*STAR bag and they also want to meet the environmental compliances before manufacturing this sack.

The fourteen companies interviewed alone are consuming around 77 million bags. One point worth noting is, that cement companies are consuming app. 91% of these 120 million bags (around 110 millions). So, from the present state analysis it could be said that the cement industries are the major market for this polypropylene woven sack.

All of the interviewees hold AD*STAR Bag in high respect, and they are anticipating very good market for AD*STAR Bag in Bangladesh after considering its qualitative and environmental parameters. Even, while discussing with Lafarge, it was mentioned that Lafarge India can also be a potential client of an AD*STAR Bag producer of Bangladesh, if the price/quality/schedule combination can be met by the producer. Lafarge Bangladesh will promote it to Lafarge India if they are satisfied with the local producer.

A more comprehensive picture of total market demand and expected market share of Polypropylene Woven Sack can be drawn after the completion of the countrywide survey.

There are potential buyers in various other areas of business. It was not possible to cover the other potential sectors due to the limitations. The potential sectors that can be addressed for woven PP sacks are as follows:

· Fertilizer

· Sugar

· Rice

· Salt

· Tea

· Cereals

· Chemicals

(Source: Survey of this Research)

Why High Standard Sack Like “AD*STAR”?

From Environment Point of View

Ultravioletly Degradable

The sack is made from polypropylene, which is broken down by UV when exposed to sun for a long time.

Chemically Inert

Polypropylene is non-toxic. That means it is not harmful for soil and water when in contact during use or when dumped after use.

No Adhesive

The sack is the only industrial sack where the patches are fixed by a patented hot welding process. So there is no toxic glue used during the production of the sack.

No Broken Sacks

The high strength of the sack avoids breakage and spillage. So there is no pollution caused by lost filling goods and broken sacks.

No Reproduction

No breakage means also that there is no need to reproduce and replace lost goods and sacks. The environmental harm caused by this reproduction process can be avoided.


The sack is made of nearly 100% polypropylene and can be remade into granulate after emptying. It is also suitable for “intrusion” – the revolutionary recycling technique for processing mixed household-grade plastic waste into quality molded products.

Energy recovering

A product made of plastic contains a very high-energy value. So in many countries plastic waste is used to replace primary fuel in the industry. Especially in the cement industry this already saves up to 30% of oil and coal.

Long life Product

The high strength of the sack makes it suitable for different applications after the first use. In some countries this kind of sack is also sold on markets as a second hand bag.

Save Raw Materials

The low weight of the sack – about 80g compared to a sack of plastic film or paper with a weight of more than 180g and the same characteristics – save a high quantity of raw material.

From Handling Point of View

Fully automatic filling

The AD*STAR sack is suitable for all manual and automatic sack placing and filling units. The characteristics of the sack can be adjusted to special demands if necessary. Also the valve can be produced to be suitable for an automatic valve sealing process after filling.

Stacking and storage

Having the same Shape as sacks of other materials, the AD*STAR sack teams up perfectly with palletising or truck loading equipment, whether manual or fully automatic. The brick-shaped filled sacks require a minimum of storage space, and their high strength allows stacking up to the roof.

Transport to end consumers

Rough handling, high humidity or rain, which result in high breakage rates with other sacks, are managed well with the AD*STAR sack. Its high strength and water resistance minimize the number of lost sacks. Protected in an AD*STAR sack your goods will reach the end consumer in perfect condition.

From financial Point of View

The price of an AD*STAR sack is very competitive to a comparable paper or plastic film sack. This is because of special characteristic:

The strength of the polypropylene woven structure allows light sack weight

Low process cost is obtained with specially developed machinery

The stability of the AD*STAR sack virtually eliminates costs related to sack breakage: replacement of lost filling goods and sacks as well as cleaning costs. All together this means a huge amount of money saved by using AD*STAR sacks.

Manufacturing Process & Quality Found by Factory Visit

Picture 4.3:Visiting of Shah Cement Industry woven sack unit with the Unit Incharge

Reuse/Recycle of PP Woven Sack

Picture 4.4:Whole-saler shop of used polypropylene woven sack at Khaer-Patti of Nitaiganj of Narayanganj (20th September 2006)

The Reuse/Recycle of Polypropylene woven sack starts from its source with the selling of the yarn or resin of polypropylene which is leftover during the final shape producing of the sacks, by manufacturing industries to the scavenger of curb-market site of P.P. woven sacks. The scavengers sell it to the small buyers of the reuse market, who finally send it to its final destination- small plastic factories engaged in the manufacturing of jar, mug etc. Another part of the reuse process, which is the major one, is performed by the small operators of these reuse-markets relatively all over the country. They accomplish their job by collecting sacks from various industries that are the primary user of these sacks, for example cement industries, flour industries located in various parts (districts) of the country. The district based retailer then supply those sacks to the whole-salers of the secondary market. The whole-salers then purchase at rate of 9 to 10.5 taka per piece (highest price) or 2.5 to 5 taka per piece (lowest price) based on sack’s quality. These whole-saler markets are mostly located in the divisional districts. Among them Chittagong, Dhaka and Naraynganj are the biggest markets of Bangladesh which are involved in the reusing of polypropylene woven sacks. In Dhaka these markets are located in Panghat, Soaryghat, Imamganj, Maulobibazar of old Dhaka and also a big recycling market is located at Tongi. The Khaer-Patti of Nitaiganj of Narayanganj is another big reuse-market of P.P. woven sacks. About seventy to eighty retailer-shops are positioned in this place. For its demographic importance Nitaiganj of Naraynganj has gained more popularity as a recycle-market of Polypropylene woven sack. Moreover the majority of the cement industries that are the key users of these P.P. woven sacks are located close to Naraynganj at East Mukterpur of Munshiganj district from where the highest supply of these sacks come. Last of all, the Kalur-ghat of Chittagong district is another famous recycle market of P.P. woven sacks, which collect most of its supply from the fertilizer industries.

Reuse/Recycle of Polypropylene Woven Sacks

Figure 4.2: Flow diagram of Reuse\Recycle of Polypropylene Woven Sacks


  • While performing this research work my first intention was to explain why the polypropylene woven sack industries are expanding with high pace and the conceivable reason that I found behind this is the deteriorating state of jute industry and its product through out the worldwide market. The substitute product that replaced jute fiber is synthetic fiber whose impact ensured a strong market for its products in Bangladesh.
  • The expansion of Polypropylene Woven Sack Industries have not been confined in/around the cities rather it has been expanded through out the country even at thana level towns like Phulbari Dinajpur.
  • As far as the factory setup is concerned it is found that although the infrastructure of larger factories is almost satisfactory, there are strong reasons to believe that factory/industrial establishment codes have not been maintained properly in most large/small industries.
  • It has been noticed that there is no such monitoring authority that will certify the polypropylene granules that are used as raw material in these industries are cent percent polypropylene and biodegradable.
  • So there are strong reasons to believe that the industries are not using fully polypropylene granule as raw material for their product.
  • As a result it is observed that environmental assessment especially for industries scattered in small towns is very difficult.
  • During factory visit it was found that most of the labors, supervisors and even assistant engineers engaged direct production are not that much aware of the environmental perspective of their manufactured p.p. products.
  • Above all it is found that related fiscal policies regarding this industry is very hard to get due to incoherent bureaucratic system of Bangladesh.

Chapter Five: Possibility of Setting up High Quality PP Sack Plant

As can be seen from the survey results, the respondents showed keen interest in the “finished goods”, i.e.: AD*STAR Bag. On the other hand, demand for Starlinger Woven Plastic Sack Manufacturing Machinery is very low, due to the “price factor”. In this scenario, a business plan can be made to capitalize on the perceived demand of AD*STAR Bags. The mechanism can be setting up an AD*STAR bag production facility by an independent third party, with the technical assistance from Starlinger. If a 24-million capacity production plant is established, it is a high probability that at least 20 million bags out of 24 million can be sold in the first year.

To recap, the Key Success Factors for a woven plastic sack producer/supplier are:

Timeliness of Delivery

Quality of the Product

Price of the Product

To be successful, the AD*STAR producer Must have excellent performance in regard to these three aspects.

Commercial Models which can be followed

With the progression of time and expansion of businesses, the focus from ‘Direct Payment’ has shifted to various other modes of payments like deferred payments, cost sharing, joint ventures, etc.

From the responses of the interviewees, two commercial models have been identified by the researcher, which are preferred by the potential buyers. These two models are:

(1) Deferred Payment

(2) Joint Venture.

1. Deferred Payment:

In this model, the buyer will take a plant setup from Starlinger. A certain percentage of the total price of the machinery will be paid to Starlinger up front. The rest of the amount will be paid in installment over a time period of 2-3 years.

2. Joint Venture:

This method is proposed and preferred predominantly by the users of the PP bags, like, cement producers, etc. Let us take a cement producer as the local counterpart of Starlinger as an example to elaborate this model.

In this model, Starlinger would set up the plant in the premises of the cement (etc.) producer. Then, the cement producer would buy the PP sacks produced in this factory and the sale proceeds of these bags will go to Starlinger.

In this model, the cement producer will provide the necessary space (land, building, etc.) for plant setup. The cement producer will provide the labor workforce and operational costs will also be bearded by him. The overall management of the plant will be the responsibility of Starlinger. Starlinger will also provide the “Technical persons” and “Technical Resources” necessary to run the plant.

The reason for their (cement producers, etc.) preferring this model is that they are not too well versed on running a PP Sack production line. Their competencies lie in their core business, and they do not want to deviate from that. Now, if Starlinger is responsible for the overall management of the PP Sack producing plant, they will be comfortable that the plant is run by the right people with the right capabilities are responsible for operating the plant. (Source: Business Management BD, Local agent of Starlinger)

Project Cost:

A) For 24 million bags per year: 5.4 million Euros (Approximate)

For 36 million bags per year: 6.8 million Euros


For 24 million: 90 m x 42 m = 3780 sq.m

For 36 million: 99 m x 42 m = 4138 sq.m


For 24 million: USD 0.15 – 0.16

For 36 million: USD 0.14 – 0.15


For 24 million: 102

For 36 million: 120


For 24 million: 620 KW

For 36 million: 660 KW

F) Sack Dimensions (Maximum)

Sack length: 430 to 910 mm.

Sack width: 350 to 600mm.

Bottom width: 80 to 160mm.

(Source: Business Management BD, Local agent of Starlinger)

Government Policy Regarding Polypropylene Woven Sack

There is not much to say about the Government Policy regarding P.P. sack and its Industries. The government has considerably brought down the customs duty in the last few years. The duty was imposed fifteen percent previously on polypropylene granule import. Now it is thirteen percent. Government has totally banned the import of polypropylene woven sack from out side of the country to promote local manufacturing and also export of this sack. There are some Fiscal policies those are under consideration of the government, which hasn’t been disclosed by the concerning authority.

Chapter Six: Truly Green Sack for Sustainable Earth

Most woven sacks are manufactured by process involving chain polymerization, polyaddition, or polycondensation reactions. These processes are generally controlled to produce individual polymer molecules with defined

  • Molecular weight (or molecular weight distribution)
  • Degree of branching, and
  • Composition

Once the initial product of these processes is exposed to further shear stress, heat, light, air, water, radiation or mechanical loading, chemical reactions start in the polymer, which have the net result of changing the chemical composition and the molecular weight of the polymer. These reactions, in turn, lead to a change in the physical and optical properties of the polymer.

In practice, any change of the polymer properties relative to the initial, desirable properties is called degradation. In this sense, “degradation” is a generic term for any number of reactions, which are possible in a polymer.

Exposure to sunlight and some artificial lights can have adverse effects on the useful life of polymer products. UV radiation can break down the chemical bonds in a polymer. This process is called photodegradation and ultimately causes cracking, chalking, color changes and the loss of physical properties. Photodegradation generally involves sunlight; thermal oxidation takes place in parallel with photooxidation.

Photodegradation differs from thermal oxidation in that it can be started by absorption of UV light. Most pure polymers are theoretically incapable of absorbing UV light directly. Trace amounts of other compounds within the polymer, such as degradation products or catalyst residues, impurities can however absorb UV light. For this reason, P.P. woven sack can also absorb UV light, which helps it to degrade by performing Photodegradation.

(Source: Antioxidants center-Basics on degradation, Copyright © 2005 SpecialChem S.A.)

Polymers are remarkable materials that are used in millions of single use applications for consumer, commercial, agricultural and industrial applications. Its volume is increasing gradually worldwide. So the issues of the “wasteful use of diminishing resources” and, “Polymer material as an environmental pollutant” are becoming stronger day by day. These issues are well documented in hundreds of studies and articles. While “Reduce Reuse Recycle” programs will always be vital in the greening of polymer stuffs, the fact is, most of the billions of pounds of polymer that are produced each year end up as garbage in a landfill. Adding to the negative legacy, Poly sacks actually entomb and preserve the naturally biodegradable refuse that makes up more than 40% of all household garbage.

For polymer products to achieve the ultimate status as a material in complete harmony with a naturally sustainable environment, the life cycle of polymer has to be reengineered to end its life cycle as a “totally degradable” material.

(Source: Ecosafe Biodegradable Plastic, Copyright ©2000-2006 Plastics Solutions Canada Inc)

Oxo-biodegradable Polypropylene Woven Sack

Some world-renowned scientists have focused on the development of additive technologies that work with ordinary polypropylene resin in a two-step process that accelerates oxidation and then biodegrades. This two-step process is commonly referred to as “oxo-biodegradation”. As it has been said ea