With textile manufacturing responsible for 20% of the world’s water pollution, CPI and its closed-loop water recycling system aims to revolutionize the industry’s exploitative methods of dyeing and making our clothing.
The toxicity and persistence of industrial dyes have been damaging our waterways for years. They are made for our clothes and withstand our environment – which means devastating consequences for our environment; three rivers in
Bangladeshthe capital of Dhaka were declared “biologically dead“Thanks to these dyes.
For years the textile industry has been using and damaging our limited supply of fresh water; the World bank
has identified 72 toxic chemicals in our waters by dyeing textiles alone. Although climate change and water pollution are global issues, the water-polluting effects of the textile industry are mainly limited to the developing countries, which make the majority of our clothing – with textile workers and local communities being most vulnerable to that Effects on health and the environment.
Almost all textiles that are manufactured for fast fashion processes come from developing countries. And if the water used for processing, washing, diluting, heating, cooling and transporting during manufacture is not properly treated, it pollutes our oceans and rivers.
“In such resource-intensive industries, we need breakthrough innovations to recycle water and create closed loops in industrial processes,” said Phill Jones, UK project manager Center for process innovation
(CPI) – an independent innovation center whose breakthrough technology could put an end to the harsh, water-polluting practices of the textile industry – said Sustainable Brands ™.
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Jones explains: “The Waste2Fresh system will combine novel approaches to catalytic degradation with highly selective separation and extraction techniques to provide a closed loop system that ensures near zero discharge; reduces the current consumption of freshwater resources; and increases the recovery of water, energy and other resources – for example organic substances, salts and heavy metals – considerably. “
There are standards for industrial water treatment – for example the No release of dangerous chemicals
(ZDHC) Standards – however, textile manufacturers often find it difficult to adhere to them cost-effectively. Therefore, innovations like Waste2fresh could prove to be indispensable for scaling accessible, sustainable processes for textile production worldwide.
Waste2Fresh offers a sustainable industrial water recycling system; Jones explained, “This closed-loop drainage system allows factories to reuse the water multiple times, ideally for an indefinite period of time. Essentially, this means that factories no longer need to take in more water from valuable local freshwater supplies or pollute those freshwater supplies. “*
The textile industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water – 4 percent of global fresh water
– annually; Closed-loop systems are essential to curb this constant uptake of our limited supply.
As we cross critical planetary boundaries earlier and earlier every year, immediate action must be taken at the global level by holding companies accountable for both their products and their by-products.
“A company’s success and sustainability will become increasingly intertwined as the future goes on,” says Jones. “This means that textile entrepreneurs can concentrate not only on the textiles they manufacture, but also on their processes and by-products.”
In the long term, CPI aims to spread the Waste2Fresh system to a large number of textile manufacturers and to convince other water-intensive industries of the advantages of the technology, which itself was developed with sustainability in mind: plant materials such as fique are used in the treatment process; and the device itself can be powered by a solar system
used to run equipment at night and rainwater catchment capability to make up for water loss through evaporation.
To achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, Water hygiene and pollution need to be addressed around the world – especially in developing countries. With that in mind, Jones said the main goals of the Waste2Fresh project are:
A reduction in water stress for the region through the use of the technology.
Improving water quality by minimizing hazardous chemicals and materials that enter the waterways.
Enhance international cooperation and capacity-building support for developing countries in water and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water abstraction, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.
In addition to Waste2Fresh, CPI is also behind the potentially revolutionary one GO Membranes project
– In a relationship with G2O water technologies, Unilever and manufacturer of specialty chemicals William Blythe – Uses graphene oxide as a next generation point-of-use water purification solution that aims to reduce the cost and environmental impact of water treatment to address global water scarcity.
“We believe that these types of projects are key to SDG6 – the problems related to water and wastewater are diverse and complex in their causes, scope and solution; and with it the solutions, ”said Jones. “There is not a single magic bullet. We believe the projects we are working on will do their part to lead to safer, less polluted water. “