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ZDHC to push for single, unified discharge guideline
19
Dec '15
The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme's review of Textile Industry Wastewater Discharge Quality Standards shows a wide range in discharge regulations and measuring methods that differ from nation to nation and between guidelines published by brands and amongst multi-brand consortia. Developing a single, unified discharge guideline and standardised analytical methods for monitoring wastewater quality would benefit the textile industry greatly and will drive momentum towards meeting the programme's zero discharge goal. This review is a preliminary step towards establishing a global industrywide baseline.

ZDHC was formed in 2011 by a group of major apparel and footwear brands.

According to ZDHC programme, this study has been undertaken to assess the current state of industry discharge parameters and to use these findings as a baseline for formulating a new set of common industry discharge guidelines. Uniform guidance that applies across nations and brands would simplify and ultimately reduce the cost of manufacturing by allowing all manufacturers to design facilities to the same set of guidelines.

Understanding the current state of regulations will help in formulating a new discharge guideline that will update the widely used guidelines developed by the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). These guidelines were established in 2010, but due to rapidly changing regulations and new industry targets for zero discharge the guidelines now require updating.

“To support industrywide wastewater treatment guidance, the ZDHC programme has added the development of a unified wastewater discharge quality guideline as a new area of focus,” said Executive Director Frank Michel. “Whilst working towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in wastewater will require continued collaboration between all parts of the global textile supply chain, a unified approach can further align the industry's shared commitment to improve human health and the environment,” he added.

Keeping the goal of zero discharge firmly in mind, the ZDHC programme will work with key collaborators to formulate a discharge guideline that will update widely used wastewater quality guidelines. New wastewater quality guidelines will focus on ZDHC MRSL-listed chemical substances and conventional wastewater parameters equally to reduce or eliminate the risk of releasing MRSL-banned substances. A stepwise approach begins with adoption of the ZDHC MRSL to control chemical input. The ZDHC Environmental Audit is an important second step to ensure processes are controlled properly, followed by effluent discharge controls to ensure our desired goal of zero discharge. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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