2015 environmental sustainability in the textile

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2015 ) Environmental Sustainability in the Textile Industry 25
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the annual carbon footprint made by burning coal at 185 power plants, the elec- tricity supply for 64 million American homes, carbon storage in a forest of 579 million acres, the US oil supply for two years (1.6 billion barrels), and the annual emissions of 149 million sedans (see Fig. 2 ). Considering the growth of polyester in the global marketplace, polyester production is anticipated to generate about 1.5 billion tons of CO 2 emissions by 2030 (Kirchain et al. 2015 ). In 2009, the textile industry accounted for approximately 60 % of total global polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production, and 30 % of that was used to make bottles (Paci fi c Institute 2009 ). Annually, 70 million barrels of oil is consumed to produce the virgin polyester for fabric manufacturing (Paci fi c Institute 2009 ). Polyester production is a high-energy consumption process requiring a large amount of water and lubricants for cooling, which causes destructive effects to the environment (Greenchoices N.D.). As the fi ber is the most demanded across industries, polyester is one of the greatest contributors to natural resource exhaustion and environment contamination. Acrylic has been widely used to manufacture sweaters, socks, fl eece, knitted apparel, and sportswear in the textile industry. During production processes, acrylic, made from a petrochemical material acrylonitrile, generates volatile organic com- pounds that transform into greenhouse gases (Petrochemicals Europe N.D.). In addition to the greenhouse gas emission, acrylic production consumes 30 % more energy (energy, water, and electricity) than polyester, another high-energy-intensive fi ber (Oecotextiles N.D.). Spandex is an essential material for producing tight- fi tting apparel, especially sportswear. Invented in 1958, Spandex is made from over 85 % of the polymer polyurethane consisting of two toxic materials: MDI (methylene diphenyl diiso- cyanate) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate). These materials make polyurethane very fl exible and resistant to the atmosphere for a long time, while causing harmful effects to both the environment and human health (e.g., skin irritation, asthma, lung damage, and respiratory diseases) (American Latex Allergy Association N.D.; Lights N.D.). Fig. 2 Greenhouse gas impacts of annual polyester production in the textile industry (Kirchain et al. 2015 ) 26 K.E. Lee
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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most notoriously non-eco-friendly materials. Since 1960, in the textile industry, PVC has been widely used to man- ufacture clothing (e.g., protective workwear, outdoor sportswear, and rainwear), shoes (e.g., soles, uppers, and synthetic leather skin), sports equipment (e.g., covering and coating), and bags and luggage (PVC.org N.D.). PVC is made from a petroleum-based toxic plastic and emits greenhouse gases while increasing the human health costs. During manufacturing processes, dioxin and other enduring pollutants are emitted into the environment (e.g., air, water, and land) (Oecotextiles 2014 ). So far, no safe methods for producing, using, or discarding of the material
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  • environmental sustainability

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