Dyeing industry put on notice to end colour pollution

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) has begun a crackdown on river pollution caused by discharges of dyes from textile businesses. Parts of the industry say they will need at least four years to develop the necessary technology, but the NRA wants action in half that time.

The discoloration of rivers by effluents from the dyeing industry is at its most acute in the Severn Trent region. The NRA says that the problem has worsened as the industry has switched to reactive dyes. These give improved colour-fastness, but are poorly biodegradable in sewage treatment works. Ten rivers in the region are affected by colour pollution, compared to two or three a few years ago.

Other rivers affected by textile dyes inclu

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