China is trying to shift its reputation as a significant global polluter through a new “eco-tax.” In fact, the Chinese government lists pollution control as one of its “three tough battles,” reported Just-Style. A major driver in achieving sustainability for China is the apparel and textile industry. According to the same report, they are the “third largest source of industrial wastewater in the country.”
A Sustainable Economy by 2020
In January, Textile Talk at Texworld USA, Yan Yan, director of the China Textile Information Center and Office of Social Responsibility gave specifics on new initiatives for a green supply chain for the nation. By 2020, the plan is to have a fully sustainable economy. So, to ensure progress, an introduction of a harsher tax on polluting manufacturers was put into effect.
Previously, there were sanctions in place, but the newest one is set to measure total waste on a factory-to-factory basis. Now, manufacturers will be taxed based on how many pollutants infest water, soil, air.
Also, noise pollution is an additional factor taken into account. Government officials and environmental groups believe this will incentivize factories to clean up their act. Overall, the aim is to reduce the output of harmful by-products from the manufacturing process.
Tax Sparking Innovation
As a result, textile and apparel companies are having to make a substantial investment into new technology. The threat of the tax led some finishers to adopt digital printing of color fabrics. Other measures taking place are creating chemical inventories and eliminating the use of substances on the ZDHC restricted list.
Smaller manufacturers are struggling financially and are facing possible closures. Ultimately, if these firms shut down, then production will be placed on the remaining factories. Due to increased costs and demand placed on these firms, analysts believe that this will lead to an overall increase in the price of Chinese apparel and textiles.