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What does leather have to do with the environment?

January 24, 2015

What exactly does leather and tanneries have anything to do with our environment? The direct link between leather tanneries and the environment may not be so clear, but the fact is these leather tanneries all over the world use toxic chemicals to process and dye leather. Many tanneries reap huge economic benefits for their respective economies – for instance, the industry is estimated to be worth $1 billion annually in Bangladesh. The toxic chemicals, along with other harmful waste discharge, are then released into main waterways where fishing activities take place. The daily catch is consumed by fishermen and their families, but also by the general public when they unknowingly purchased poisoned fish. While some of us think that tanneries and leather products may have nothing to do with us, the fish we consume could have come from toxic waterways, which is why it is important to understand that while a direct link may not be clear in many cases, almost every process has an impact on our environment and the time to react is now. With more and more waterways being polluted, food supplies may be further impacted negatively.

Watch the video found in this link to get a better understanding of how tanneries affect us all, and especially the workers in the tanneries. Would you give up your leather products now, for the betterment of these workers who often don’t have much of a choice in terms of employment?

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/video/toxic-tanneries-poisoning-workers-in-bangladesh

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