A technology mission for the leather industry has been set up to stop the West's green consumerists from seeing red. The mission, with an allocation of Rs 20 crores, came into operation from January 12 and will focus on upgrading production processes and promoting environment-friendly technology. This will be jointly executed by the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The mission's thrust area will be upgradation of primary processing, which is the major source of water pollution. More than 80 per cent of the tanning of hides and skins is handled by the small scale and unorganised sectors. The mission will train small scale manufacturers to use new techniques and improving labour skills.
A number of alternative chemicals to replace the harmful ones have been identified and recovery from waste has been suggested. Modern methods will be employed also to improve carcass recovery, CSIR scientists say. About Rs 650 crore worth of hides are lost every year due to non-recovery of carcass, non-utilisation of by-products and improper preservation of skins. This will also reduce the effluents problem.
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