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Bangladesh: Experts Work Toward Green Textile Industry

In the wake of increasing demand for sustainability around the world, Bangladesh experts suggested framing rules to encourage the textile industry to become more environmentally friendly.

According to the Dhaka Tribune, this decision was made at a seminar focused on “Legal and Regulatory Issues Related to Environmental Sustainability of the Textiles Sector,” which was organized by the Policy Research Institute (PRI) and the International Finance Corporation.

They also presented recommendations like giving financial or fiscal incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to participate in low-cost cleaner production practices, making them more aware that the reduction of energy consumption can be a real cost-cutter.

Environment and forest minister Anwar Hossain Manju said his ministry has put great efforts into improving the environment of the country. “There are lots of regulations but effective implementation of them is important to reduce pollution.”

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Antiqul Islam stated ensuring quality and green compliance in factories is becoming a global issue. “This means if any of the two is missing, you are simply out of business,” Islam said. “But it is easy for big factories but not for small factories to address the environmental pollution, which is a challenge.”

He emphasized financial support at a lower interest to solve this issue, and added that the textile industry uses ground water because it contains less chlorine.

Senior environmental advisor to the world’s leading provider of international cooperation services — Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Bangladesh — Tanuja Bhattacharjee said the organization is launching a mobile water testing program by June to identify the level of pollution in the industry.

PRI Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur presented several recommendations at the seminar, including differentiating water tariffs based on locations, strengthening enforcement and monitoring tax and duty rationalization to encourage environmentally-friendly investment goods and for discouraging hazardous chemicals.

He also shared that although data on the extent of washing, dying and finishing firms with effluent treatment plants (ETPs) are not available; the perception of experts is that the coverage is only 30 percent.

Without the full coverage and strict enforcement of the rules, the water pollution problem could not be addressed.