Understanding the problem is the first step towards a solution! Keep scrolling to educate yourself about the wastewater produced by the consumer goods industry and how it affects us all.

The database below will show you options for how to take action on wastewater treatment.

CLICK HERE to learn how to use the toolbox

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What is wastewater?

Wastewater is any water that has been used by humans. In the consumer goods industry, it is the water used to produce products and often contains chemicals and dyes. This water should be treated before it returns to the watershed, but that is frequently not the case.

What is the Wastewater 101 Toolbox?

The Wastewater 101 Toolbox is where brands, retailers, manufacturers, designers, and even the public-at-large can access education, training, and resources related to facilitating and incentivizing the proper treatment of wastewater in the consumer goods industry.

Why isn’t wastewater treated?

There are many reasons wastewater may not be treated. One is that people simply don’t understand the problem. Another is that once they do understand, they do not have the knowledge and tools to address the problem. One big reason wastewater goes untreated is that manufacturers lack the support needed to do so. Treating wastewater is expensive, and with increasing pressure to lower costs, manufacturers must make tough decisions.

Who is The Sustainability Consortium?

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a global non-profit organization working to transform the consumer goods industry by partnering with leading companies to define, develop, and deliver more sustainable products.

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of freshwater withdrawal can be linked back to consumer goods.


of water use and discharge could be reduced through changes such as recycling process water and reusing cooling water.

While technological solutions exist, they are often not being used and wastewater is directly discharged to receiving waters, untreated. Sometimes even when the water treatment technology is purchased and used, it is not run continuously in order to save money. Untreated wastewater can exacerbate local water scarcity issues, pollute entire watersheds, and harm other local industries that rely on the watershed such as agriculture and fishing. The aim of this toolbox is to help both manufacturers and brands improve their wastewater footprint, and have a positive, value adding message to bring to their consumers.