EDIPTEX: Environmental assessment of textiles

Søren Ellebæk Laursen, John Hansen, Hans Henrik Knudsen, Henrik Wenzel, Henrik Fred Larsen, Frans Møller Christensen

Publikation: Monografi/antologi/afhandling/rapportMonografiForskning


The EDIPTEX project has three main deliverables. These are

1. Modelling of the lifecycle of six textile products and calculation of the connected environmental impact

2. Obtaining almost 500 textile unit processes following the EDIP unit process data format

3. Calculation of equivalency factors for a number of chemicals

For each of the deliverables extensive documentation material exists, which is published in this report.

In the EDIPTEX project, a number of lifecycle assessments (environmental assessments) were carried out on textile products. But an extensive and detailed lifecycle assessment case is not particularly information friendly - only to other lifecycle assessment experts and consultants.

The Programme for Cleaner Products etc. has therefore supported a dissemination project "Information on EDIPTEX". In this dissemination project the six EDIPTEX environmental assessments were transformed into six leaflets which, on only four pages each and in a professional layout, outline the environmental profile of the six products.

The six environmental assessments include:

A T-shirt of 100% cotton /1/A jogging suit of nylon microfibres with a cotton lining /2/A work jacket of 65 per cent polyester and 35 per cent cotton /3/A blouse of viscose, nylon and elastane /4/A tablecloth of cotton /5/A floor covering of nylon and polypropylene /6/

The present report informs in detail about methods and principles used in the environmental assessments of the six selected EDIPTEX textile products.

The major part of the lifecycle is common for many textile products, e.g. energy production, production of raw materials (e.g. cultivation and harvesting cotton), certain production processes (such as dyeing polyester), washing and ironing in the use phase and incineration during disposal. Such basic data have been established during the EDIPTEX project. The EDIPTEX project has been based upon the nationally and internationally recognised environmental assessment method EDIP - "Environmental Design of Industrial Products".

The project has obtained environmental data for several hundred processes "from cradle to grave" in the lifecycle of textiles. EDIPTEX environmental data and a PC tool provide the possibility for combining the lifecycle of a textile product from cradle to grave, process by process, on the computer screen through a modelling, and letting the computers calculate the equivalency impacts. EDIPTEX environmental data and the environmental assessments, which can be modelled on the basis of these data, thus represent a unique tool in connection with e.g. preparing and documenting lifecycle assessments and environmental declarations for goods. In connection with the project "Information on EDIPTEX" a leaflet has been prepared "EDIP environmental data for textiles - a survey" /7/, which gives an overview of the environmental data, so that others can use the data during environmental assessment of textiles. All data are now also available in the PC tool GaBi EDIP - the successor of the EDIP PC tool.

For a number of commonly occurring emissions (discharges) and for emissions which have been assessed in previous projects within EDIP, equivalency factors had already been established. But for a number emissions, no equivalency factors had been calculated. If these emissions were to be included in the calculations of the contribution of a product on the impact categories regarding toxicity, equivalency factors for the substances would have to be calculated, and they would have to be included in the PC tool. In the EDIPTEX case scenarios, equivalency factors for ecotoxicity and human toxicity for approx. 50 textile specific chemicals are used. Within the EDIPTEX project, equivalency factors for ecotoxicity and human toxicity have been calculated for approx. 35 different substances, which are part of the very often composite chemicals. Further, approx. 20 substances are assessed as unproblematic regarding ecotoxicity and human toxicity in discharges via wastewater treatment plants. Fate factors for the technosphere for the substances have also been calculated, i.e. spraying with pesticides on farmland and discharge to wastewater treatment plant. Fate factors for pesticides have been calculated, i.e. distribution factors regarding where the substances end up after spraying. Similarly non-pesticides fate factors have been calculated for discharge to wastewater treatment plant, i.e. whether the substances end up in sludge, water or air after wastewater treatment. Using fate factors for the technosphere, takes into account that wastewater discharges from Danish textile factories are treated in wastewater treatment plants prior to discharge to the environment. For example, readily biodegradable substances will by and large disappear in the wastewater treatment plant and as such will not directly have an impact on the environment.

The EDIP database included equivalency factors on human toxicity for approx. 100 substances and on ecotoxicity for approx. 70 substances. This is an important increase in equivalency factors. All equivalency factors are now also available in the PC tool GaBi EDIP - the successor of the EDIP PC tool.

Udgivelses stedCopenhagen, Denmark
ForlagDanish Ministry of the Environment/Dansih Environmental Protection Agency
Antal sider228
StatusUdgivet - 2007
NavnWorking Report

Note vedr. afhandling

www tilføjet af dw/26.3.2008


  • Tekstiler
  • Miljøvurdering
  • LCA
  • Livscyklusvurdering
  • Database
  • Værktøj

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