The government has issued an instruction for its officials and employees to ensure mandatory use of environment-friendly jute goods, officials said. The Ministry of Textiles and Jute sent letters to different ministries last week, urging their departments and other entities to take necessary steps to ensure multiple use of the golden fiber. The initiative has been taken to implement a decision of the advisory committee meeting on July 12, 2017. The government has taken different moves to ensure mandatory use of jute items instead of the plastic-made ones. The government first issued an order on December 01, 2015 to use jute bags on mandatory basis for six products – paddy, rice, wheat, corn, fertiliser and sugar. On January 24, 2017, the government made use of jute bags mandatory for packaging of 11 more commodities – onion, ginger, garlic, pulse, potato, flour, chili, turmeric, coriander seeds and husks of rice and wheat. The use of jute bags is now compulsory for preservation and transportation of 20 kg or more quantity of these 17 commodities across the country. At present, jute sector provides direct employment to about 166,000 people. Some 70,000 people are also involved in diversifying and marketing of jute goods. Besides, about 40-50 million farm families are directly or indirectly involved with jute and jute industry, according to the ministry. Considering the contribution of jute to the national economy and for promoting local jute sector, the government drafted the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010 that was enforced in January 2014. A total of 170 jute mills are now running under Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), 94 under Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) and 23 under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC).