3 March 2022

ZDHC Foundation has published an update to its Wastewater Guidelines, combining previously separate textile and leather wastewater guidelines into one.

The ZDHC set up a Wastewater Council – made up of experts from the textile industry, academia and water treatment industry – to help revise the guidelines, and also held a public consultation.

Phil Patterson, ZDHC Wastewater Council chair, said: “Since the publication of the first ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines in 2016, the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has evolved to become much more of a holistic chemical management programme and this update is an important pillar in that approach.

“It is closely aligned with the chemical input management process and the testing advice is much more streamlined, to enable facilities and brands to demonstrate conformance and rectify issues more easily.”

The guidelines introduce a streamlined approach to sampling and testing, incorporate the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (ZDHC MRSL) Version 2.0 and update sludge testing parameters.

Jimmy Summers, chief sustainability officer at Elevate Textiles, added: “Metals and compounds found in sludge can be released and cause negative impacts on human health and the environment. In too many cases around the world, sludge quality and the impact on the environment is poorly understood.

“It is crucial for sludge to be tested, properly characterised, handled and disposed of properly and for this information to be transparent and available for brands and retailers to see.”

The new guidelines can be accessed on the ZDHC website.

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