The wet processing sector of the textile industry is considered to impact the environment the maximum through the discharged effluent in waste water and the quantity of water consumed. This paper presents the best available technology that can be implemented by the textile processing industry to reduce the impact on the environment in the coming decade. It also reports the R & D initiatives and activities of different textile related companies to reduce the impact on the environment.

Introduction

The worldwide textile fibre demand is approximately 68.5 million tons in 2009 according to European Man-made Fibres Association [1]. The fibres are generally processed further through a number of small sectors. The textile industry is mostly fragmented and dominated by SMEs. The sectors are further divided into sub -sectors, covering the entire production cycle. The main environmental concerns in the textile industry is the amount of water discharged during dyeing, printing and finishing operations and the chemical load it carriers that is toxic to the human life and environment. Other important issues are energy consumption, air emissions, solid waste discharge and odours. Protection of the environment from the textile wastes discharged is broadly considered at 2 stages. First stage is at the source of effluent generation.


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This article was originally presented at the 'International Conference on Textiles: A Decade Ahead' organized by the North India Section of Textile Institute and Department of Textile Technology, IIT Delhi on 9-10th September, 2011.