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Industry Sees Increased Concern for Chemicals in Textile Production

By:
May 21

Recent stories from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and EcoTextile News demonstrate a growing concern for pollution and chemicals in the apparel supply chain.

First, on April 9, 2012, the Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) published an investigative report on water pollution caused by the textile industry in China. The report found more than 6,000 violations from textile companies in China that source to major U.S. and European retail brands. Infractions include the use of secret discharge pipes for wastewater, inadequate treatment of waste in facilities, and improper pollutant discharge practices.

On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a set of new rules to limit the use and import of harmful chemicals found in textile dyes, pigments, flame retardants and plasticizers.

All of this takes place against a backdrop of increasing regulatory activity in this arena, whether through well-known existing initiatives, like Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) in Europe or the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in the United States, or other legislative efforts—whether existing or forthcoming—in individual U.S. states and other sovereign nations.

WRAP recognizes the importance of environmental regulations and the proper disposal of chemical waste. WRAP Principle 10 is dedicated to the environment, and states: “Facilities will comply with environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations, and will observe environmentally conscious practices in all locations where they operate.”

In keeping with these requirements, WRAP audits include ensuring proper disposal of waste, along with other environmental checks, in every factory our organization certifies.
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