Bangladesh textile industry is one of the highest water consuming countries for washing and dyeing fabrics. Bangladesh's textile mills consume 1,500 billion litres of groundwater a year for washing and dyeing fabrics, according to a report published recently by Partners for Water Programme of the Netherlands in cooperation with the Bangladesh government. Hence, the textile companies have started adopting water saving technologies.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, now provides water saving technologies to Bangladeshi garment factories under its Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) programme. Along with adopting new technologies, IFC suggests factories should use industry friendly machinery and change their water use habits.
Bakhtiar Uddin Ahmed, general manager at Fakir Apparels, a garment maker based in Narayanganj said that by adopting the water saving technologies they were able to save more than 70 percent of water.
Previously, his company used 24.96 crore litres of water for washing and dyeing 1,200 tonnes of fabrics in a month, but the amount of water has now declined to 6.96 crore litres. They are also saving electricity by adopting similar kind of technologies.
Mondol Fabrics, a concern of Mondol Group, also adopted the water saving technologies of IFC. Momin Mondol, managing director of Mondol Group said that they have already implemented the first phase of adopting the technologies and the second phase is going on. After the implementation of the first phase which took 14 months, they were able to save 27 percent of water in washing and dyeing fabrics.
Before adopting the water saving technologies, his company used more than 120 litres of water for washing a kilogram of fabrics, but now the quantity declined between 80 litres and 85 litres, Mondol said. The company washes and dyes 500 tonnes of fabrics a month. Once the second phase is implemented, water consumption will fall further.
The PaCT of IFC supports textile wet processing factories in adopting cleaner production, said Yasin Ahmed, resource efficiency consultant of the Bangladesh PaCT. To date, PaCT has provided advisory services to around 200 textile factories (washing, dyeing and finishing units) on resource efficiency measures.
The partnership is based on both brand and factory contributions. Once the PaCT partner brands nominate their supply chain members, factories pay a participation fee of $2,000-$6,000 as per the production capacity of the plant, Ahmed said.
Before joining the programme, factories saw their average water consumption for processing each kilogram of fabrics at 201 litres, which declined to 147 litres after the implementation, with a 27 percent fall. But, the global industry best practice is 70 litres of water for per kg of fabric. Ahmed said.
The PaCT programme was initiated in 2014 with 95 textile factories; the number rose to 192 in 2016.
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