Blog: In a pickle over textile effluent
Leonie Barrie | 24 September 2010
Hot on the heels of yesterday's story about two of the world's largest clothing retailers working with their Chinese textile suppliers to reduce water, energy, and chemical use in their supply chains, comes news of another way to help firms to clean up their act: pickle-spoiling bacteria. Yes, you did read that right.
While suppliers to Walmart and H&M will be looking at more obvious things like finding and preventing leaks, re-using steam and water, installing proper insulation and electricity meters, it seems scientists in the US have been focusing their attention on a more unconventional way of treating textile effluent.
Apparently, the same bacteria that cause the red colouration on pickles that have gone off (it's actually a chemical reaction with yellow food-colouring agent tartrazine), can also modify azo dyes, which are used in the textile industry and may be passed along to wastewater streams if untreated. Azo dyes give fabrics vivid and warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow, and while many are nontoxic, some have been found to be mutagenic.
The researchers, who are based at the Food Science Research Unit, point out that a lot of effort has been put into trying to identify microorganisms capable of degrading azo dyes in wastewater. And if food-grade bacteria can do the job, they may well prove to be the organisms of choice for waste-treatment applications.
It's definitely food for thought.
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Steps to piloting living wage in garment factories
- Trump blows the case for Brexit out of the water
- How to ensure sustainability is more than a slogan
- Duty-free trade key to build Africa supply chains
- US apparel retailers' November 2016 sales roundup
- Taiwan textile maker investing in first US plant
- US Q3 in brief – Destination Maternity, Cherokee
- Outdoor apparel sector set for double-digit growth
- Myanmar garment industry "lacking labour rights"
- World cotton price prospects lifted again