by Anil Gupta, Group Managing Director, CRISTOLTM
The chemical industry is a key enabler of economic growth & its materials are essential for the production of a myriad of consumer & industrial products. The Indian Specialty industry has come a long way from supplying natural extracts like dyes like Indigo and flavour extracts from spices to what it is today. It greatly influences our safe water supply, food, shelter, clothing, health care, technology, transportation, etc. And more than 96% of all manufactured goods are directly dependent on the chemical industry for raw materials, additives, and finished formulations to sustain almost every facet of modern life. This not only makes the chemical industry a significant part of our day-to-day lives but also enables manufacturers to provide unique features to meet growing consumer needs.
In India, the chemical industry occupies a pivotal position in meeting basic needs and improving the quality of life. The Indian chemical industry is the mainstay of industrial and agricultural development and provides building blocks for several downstream sectors such as textiles, papers, paints, soaps, detergents, and pharmaceuticals, among 80,000 other sectors (consumer products). The supply of these chemicals is directly proportional to the demand for the products.
For eg, The agrochemical sector ensures food security, the synthetic fiber industry is crucial to providing affordable clothing, and the pharma industry gives the country’s vast population access to low-cost and effective drugs, etc.
To sum it all up, chemicals are used in various proportions by almost every industry right from electronics to paints, from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics. Therefore without chemicals, the absolute development of other sectors remains stunted.
However, irresponsible use of these chemicals as well as disposal of toxic chemical-laden waste is a major hazard to health and also lays immense stress on the environment’s delicate balance, making it perilous. It is therefore essential to incorporate the use of natural resources in the process of manufacturing chemicals to minimize hazards of toxic chemical exposure to health and the environment, which in turn ensures a sustainable future for the earth and its inhabitants.
Applying green chemistry metrics to chemical processes can play a pivotal role in minimizing the discharge of hazardous substances into the environment. It enforces the substitution of these toxic chemical ingredients used in industrial manufacturing, with green (eco-friendly/biodegradable) materials.