CLEANING UP WOOL'S IMPACT
Like most commercial products, wool is not without environmental cost. The process of cleaning or ‘scouring’ wool requires washing in hot water and detergent, often mixed with pesticide to kill any insect life, which can lead to contaminated water run-off. A 2004 study prepared for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found that NZ’S wool exporters could not guarantee that wool supplied could meet the requirements of the most common environmental standards in its markets, and that scour effluent discharge levels of pesticide may breach EU guidelines. The boom in organic wool production and forwardthinking scouring operators like New Zealand Wool Services International (WSI) are addressing this issue. Both of WSI’S facilities have Environmental Choice certication. As well, the Kaputone plant has been certied with Asurequality, and is the only facility in New Zealand to scour wool to the European – ECOLABEL standards.