Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Organic solvents are used in degreasing, dying, coating and finishing. They are also present in many adhesives.
You must not use nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylate in concentrations equal to or higher than 0.1% for leather processing (you are most likely to use these if you degrease sheep skin), except for processes where:
If you carry out dry cleaning, coating of leather or footwear manufacture check whether you are affected by controls on solvent emissions.
You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities when dealing with waste.
You may need to deal with the following materials and substances as hazardous/special waste:
You may be able to replace solvent-based materials with water-based materials. Although these are not available or appropriate for every application, you should use them when possible.
You should prevent the escape of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the atmosphere. VOCs can result in the formation of ground-level ozone, an air pollutant harmful to human and animal health, as well as plant life. You can reduce the evaporation of solvent to the environment by:
Do not mix different waste solvents as this could be dangerous. It also stops you from reclaiming the solvents.
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