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Published on Friday, 28 November 2014

Positive lists: a demand or a request?

Written by John Mowbray

WAKEFIELD - The growing use of positive lists is tackled in the next printed issue of Ecotextile News. In an in-depth look at the potential scale and use of positive lists, our textile chemicals correspondent Phil Patterson asks whether a positive list should apply to a handful of selected chemicals or all chemicals used in manufacture. "A typical restricted substances list (RSL) or a piece of chemical legislation is normally based around what you can't do – it's seen as being negative," says Patterson. "We understand that suppliers to major brands are now saying that they'd like to be told is what they can do rather than what they can't do – and, faced with some of the mixed messages the global legislators are giving, it seems a fairly reasonable request."

Patterson asks: "Should a positive list be a demand to use a specific product from a specific chemical supplier or a general piece of advice to use a particular chemical type? Should a positive list be a recommendation or mandate to use components that have been independently certified as meeting a raft of negative standards? Or should a positive list be a gentle nudge towards best practice?"