15-12-2017 08:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Rapid industrialization leads to rampant pollution and stricter rules
Hong Kong’s biggest cloth makers TAL Apparel have teamed up with researchers at City University to identify bacteria that can efficiently clean up the enormous wastewater generated by the textile industry.
It has become the need of the hour as decades of unbridled industrial growth has left China with a legacy of rampant pollution, shrinking aquifers and soaring water prices.
According to a 2015 report by New York-based non-profit group Natural Resources Defense Council, cloth-making ranks third in China for the amount of wastewater it discharges — 3 billion tonnes a year — after chemicals and paper.
The government, therefore, in 2015 released its Water Ten Plan, ushering in stricter waste-water regulations. It sets out 10 general measures to control pollution discharge, promote technology and strengthen water management and set 2020 as the deadline to meet its goals.
Tals chairman Harry Lee said that stricter regulation requires manufacturers to upgrade their facilities. TAL had been buying bacteria from other labs to treat water used for washing cloth. The bacteria digest organic compounds can cut the amount of waste sludge generated by as much as 80 percent. However, during a week-long production halt, the bacteria in its system died.
TA has now set up a research program to find a super bacteria that would be cheaper and more efficient. Lee said that if they succeed, the results will be shared with other manufacturers.