Textile industry threads its way through the effluent challenge

The textile industry was warned some time ago by the National Rivers Authority (NRA) that tighter controls on discharges of colour and pesticides were in the pipeline. Some sectors, such as the Kidderminster carpet manufacturers, have responded. But elsewhere the industry is warning - not for the first time - that thousands of jobs in textile finishing and garment manufacture are on the line because proven and economically feasible technology is not available to clean up its effluents.

Historically, effluents from the textile industry have had a major environmental impact on rivers in industrial areas. While the industry can boast some successes in tackling these problems, it now faces its toughest challenge yet as the NRA sets demanding standards for dyes and mothproofers to protect key rivers affected by textile effluents.

The NRA's approach has been to set target dates for compliance with the standards and warn both

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