The Greenpeace DETOX campaign was launched in July 2011 and has exposed links between textile manufacturing facilities causing toxic water pollution in China, and some of the world’s leading apparel brands.
Since its launch, Greenpeace has stepped up the pressure on brands, with several brands joining up to the “Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals” (ZDHC) programme; the joint roadmap developed for the purpose of meeting the needs of the Greenpeace DETOX campaign. The aim is to phase out the use of any hazardous chemicals by 2020, which not only applies to end product but also includes the entire production process. ZDHC members were required to document their progress in terms of the joint roadmap quarterly in 2012 and now annually from 2012 to 2020.
Eleven priority chemical groups have been identified by Greenpeace; nine of these groups are already subject to restrictions across a range of products and, therefore, the potential for discharge is likely to be low. The other two chemical groups are NPEO’s and perfluorinated chemicals, which have now become the focus for Greenpeace.
The biggest talking point, however, is the group’s intention to move away from focus on zero discharge and possibly even re-branding the group saying that the 2020 vision is to effect “systematic transformation of our industry”.
The overall new direction of the group looks to focus on a wider, more holistic approach to environmental impacts from industry coupled with an effective risk management strategy. The group also believes that substitution and adoption of “sustainable chemistry” is a key focal point for all involved.