finance & economy

Tunisia-UNIDO: Textile enterprises shifting to safer chemical products

October 20, 2020

(TAP)-Tunisian textile enterprises, in particular, in the finishing sector, have received training to switch to the use of safer and much more environmentally friendly chemical products.

This training is organised as part of the Switchmed programme, an initiative funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). The goal is to build a circular economy in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt as well as other Mediterranean countries, by altering the way goods and services are produced and consumed.

In Tunisia, three training sessions have been held since June 2020 for the benefit of about ten finishing enterprises to introduce them to the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) protocol, a protocol that allows the change of chemicals already used by safer ones.

'The training is the second component of Switchmed, that seeks to introduce a protocol for safer chemicals used in textiles and the shift from those already in use to products with less environmental impact,' Consultant to UNIDO Antonio Trimarchi stated to TAP.

He added that a third protocol on wastewater treatment will also be adopted. It will help determine, from the wastewater, the level of pollution generated by the enterprise and whether the use of chemicals is compatible with the ZDHC protocol.

According to Trimarchi, the Tunisian enterprises would benefit from adopting this protocol of zero discharge of dangerous chemicals.'If Tunisian enterprises want to win back and recover market quotas in Europe, they must adopt innovation, including environmental innovation, which is very important,' explained the official.

The textile and clothing sector in Tunisia counts 1,695 enterprises employing 10 persons and more, 1,410 of which produce totally for export, according to investinTunisia.tn.

At the end of 2015, the number of foreign enterprises amounted to 1,142 units employing more than 125,274 people.

Tunisia is one of the world's leading suppliers of clothing. It is the 9th supplier to Europe and the 2nd supplier to France in this field.

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