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ZDHC-CNTAC host conference for sustainable solutions
Nov '16
The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme, a collaboration of leading brands, value chain affiliates, and associate contributors, and the China National Textile & Apparel Council (CNTAC), hosted the 4th ZDHC - CNTAC joint conference, to discuss the latest developments in hazardous chemical control and sustainable manufacturing.

One of ZDHC's key tools, its Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), a list of chemical substances banned from intentional use in facilities that process textile materials and trim parts in apparel and footwear, was discussed at the event. ZDHC's goal is for the entire industry to adopt this standard

During the event, the ZDHC Chemical Gateway was showcased and its ability to provide a “shopping list” of safer chemicals was highlighted. The ZDHC Gateway is set to launch in early 2017 and is poised to become world's largest database of safer chemistry for this industry.

Another key achievement that was discussed was the development of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, set for release within the week. These have been developed with input from brands, NGOs, manufacturers, and suppliers and over 300 comments were submitted from the public following a period of open comment.

ZDHC's technical director Scott Echols said, “The ZDHC wastewater guidelines will provide the next steps in ensuring the elimination of hazardous chemicals. It's not enough to simply use one standard or tool. The issue of hazardous chemical control is complex, and demands a holistic approach. While the ZDHC MRSL works to prevent restricted chemical substances from being used in facilities, the Wastewater Guidelines will help to ensure wastewater leaving those facilities is properly treated. Both are required to prevent water contamination.”

During this event, ZDHC and CNTAC signed a formal collaboration agreement. CNTAC, an industry federation which represents all textile related industries in China, also reflected on the work it's doing towards its Chemicals Stewardship Initiative 2020, a cross-industry policy framework for the textile industry aimed at minimising adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment.

The day also featured an open panel debate in which participants were invited to ask a range of questions and perspectives were offered from the China Textile Information Centre (CTIC), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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