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ZDHC conference shows the implementation of sustainable chemical management practices

Speakers at ZDHC South East Asia conference opined that as sustainability is a single approach, so, the measure of the sustainable product also should be one.

ZDHC Governing Body organized first South East Asia regional conference in Mumbai, India on 13 February 2019. In the one-day conference all stakeholders of the textile value chain, including ZDHC Signatory brands, manufacturers, chemical industry, partner organizations, and service providers, were present.

ZDHC South East Asia conference
Figure: Experts opined on chemical management best practice Implementation from the lens of manufacturing facilities in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Stakeholders discussed on three ‘I’s such as Integration, Implementation, and Innovation in sustainable chemical management practices.

Being a platinum sponsor Britacel Silicones Ltd actively took part in the conference. Britacel is one of the leading chemical manufacturers from India having a wide presence in 16 countries and more than 100+ sustainable products across all the stages of chemical processing field (yarn, fabric, and garment) strongly join hands with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), being the first contributor from textile chemical manufacturing field.

The textile industry is facing many challenges on sustainability having a huge impact on the environment/human health with direct and indirect measures. A small manufacturer who is not associated with top brands and concentrated on local domestic production does not understand chemical pollution and sustainability role towards a clean environment.

Though the big players in the industry are concentrating on ZDHC the small players still polluting air/soil/water body, misusing energy/water due to old machinery and processes.

So how will we live healthy a healthy life, if everybody doesn’t come under the same norms and regulation?

The government should take necessary steps if anyone in the textile industry pollutes river/sea/soil/air. As the environment will not remain safe for a single polluted factory.

Also, Brands now talk about ‘REUSE/RECYCLE’ circularity but I feel many things are still in their hand which they should control in a better way. For example, when a production lot is off shade if we stop re-dyeing/re-process can save a lot of energy/decrease pollution to some limit.

So, we should improve the RFT% the same way people should accept minor off shade or minor finishing issue to avoid re-process of goods. We should be more generous accepting a few things which will save plenty in the future. Just need to change the mindset.

Also, brands should come in a common platform to stop giving extra burden on the chemical supplier by different certification process of different countries. They should think more “Sustainability is a single approach. So, the measure of the sustainable product also should be one.”

Also Read: How ZDHC and sustainability can be implemented in Bangladesh textile industry

In a panel discussion on ‘Implementing best practices in chemical management in manufacturing- challenges and opportunities’ Charles Ng, Technical & Innovations Manager of UL Consumer and Retail Services talked about sustainable chemistry and supply chain management.

It is now mandatory to work with both National and international brands, retailers and NGOs who are committed for ZDHC by 2020. The presence and control of restricted substances in final articles to comply with local and global regulations set by brands etc. and non-conformance to RSL may result of rejection thereby creating a huge financial loss, image loss, and order.

Chemical management objectives

  • To better manage dyes and chemicals
  • In process/products and discharge from a factory
  • Use of Safer chemicals or reduce/eliminate hazardous/harmful

For protection/preservation of

  • Human and consumer health
  • A Clean environment

To achieve ZDHC by 2020 mostly all textile mills and processing units in India have introduced a chemical management system which is a simple guideline to follow.

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