The international conference on resource efficiency on Thursday called for new legislation to stop the use of restricted/non-approved chemicals and dyes in the textile industry, as it has been observed that many textile industry units in different processes make unnecessary use and waste a lot chemicals and dyes which create serious environment and health problems along with adding to the cost of production.
The conference was organized by bfz gGmbH (Germany) in collaboration with Pakistani business associations including Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA). 150 representatives from the industry but also from academia and public sector participated.
International and European Union conventions signed by Pakistan strictly restrict the use of non-approved chemicals and dyes, and wastage of these raw materials and disposal of textile raw materials without proper treatment. Since realization that world is a global village, there is a strong feeling that damages to environment/echo-system in any country would ultimately become threat to entire world.
In Pakistan, many textile manufacturers are making use of sub-standard and banned chemicals and dyes to sell their finished products at lower prices in local market. The use of non-approved chemicals and dyes has been reported to be the main cause of even skin cancer.
The textile experts from Germany, Austria and Bangladesh also emphasized that resource efficiency is a key to cost reduction in the manufacturing industries of Pakistan and crucial for social compliance with the demand of international buyers.
Martin Straehle from Germany, Project Coordinator of bfz gGmbH, made introductory speech highlighting environmental and social compliance issues.
The main session of the conference was on chemical management with keynote speakers Kazy Mohammad Iqbal Hossain from C&A, one of the biggest European retailers, and Dr. Jurgen Hannak, a free-lance expert on resource efficiency and environmental management.
Iqbal Hossain emphasized increasing requirements and tightening controls of international buyers in respect to chemical management along the textile supply chain.
Dr. Jurgen Hannak from Austria explained that how manufacturers can approach these challenges and ensure safe usage, storage, and transport plus appropriate disposal of chemicals.
Mr. Hannak pointed out that international requirements are complex and enforcement is getting stricter but with a proper chemical management, industries can comply with the demand of buyers and save money. He presented various solutions for textile manufacturers in Pakistan.
In the second session, Dr. Bilquis Yasmeen, Senior Consultant at VRI-USA Inc. gave an introduction to productivity enhancement through material efficiency followed by a case study on a six sigma project at AB Mauri Pakistan Ltd.
The third session had a focus on Good Housekeeping (GHK). Principal Consultant from Quality International Consultants (Pvt) Ltd., Arshad Ali introduced practical approaches of GHK in the industries and their benefits.
The team of bfz gGmbH presented services offered by project ESPIRE to support the industry to improve resource efficiency and occupational health and safety. Participants had the opportunity to utter their demand and suggest changes to the support offered.
The project ESPIRE was started by the Vocational Training and Development Centres of the Bavarian Employers' Association (bfz) gGmbH - one of the largest private providers of vocational training in Germany.
The International Division of bfz conducts development cooperation projects on behalf of World Bank, European Union, and the German government in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In Pakistan bfz gGmbH is collaborating with Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), Pakistan Ready- made Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMA), Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), and Pakistan Cloth Merchants Association (PCMA). The Project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via Sequa gGmbH.
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