Green glass manufacturers in the South African market are required to disclose all harmful chemicals at the annual conference to prevent “further contamination” of their supply chains, the head of South African Glass Industry Association (GIA) told the South Africa Business Summit in Johannesburg.
“We are going to be putting a lot of pressure on the industry to disclose the chemical ingredients in their glass products,” said GIA chairwoman Nga Pham.
The GIA, which represents glass manufacturers and retailers in South African glass and glass products, had to inform the government of its decision after it was notified that the country’s glass industry had been at the centre of an investigation into a suspected toxic chemical leak.
A spokesperson for the South Korean government said South Korea would be seeking clarification on the GIA’s decision.
This is an important step forward and we look forward to meeting with GIA head Nga in order to explain the impact of the decision, the spokesperson said in a statement.
GIA chairperson Nga has been at loggerheads with the South Koreans over the past year over a number of issues, including the release of documents and the removal of the company’s own information about toxic chemicals from its website.
Last year, the GAA suspended its membership after it revealed that its own suppliers had used toxic chemicals, including chlorine, in the production of its glass.
Since then, the South Korea Glass Association has taken legal action to stop the GDA from publishing its own toxic chemicals list, claiming the list could harm its members and suppliers.
On Monday, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of South Korea also asked South Korean glass companies to remove toxic chemicals such as chlorine from their products, according to a report in the Kwonhee Ilbo.
South Korean Glass Industry Development Association (SGFDA), a trade body representing more than 4,000 glass manufacturers, also said that it had decided to withdraw from the GISA, the Kwanhee Ilbukbo newspaper reported.
While the GISA has said it has made the decision to suspend membership, it has not stated whether the suspension would last until the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
In the meantime, the SGFDA said that “the association will remain in the dark regarding the outcome of this decision”, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said in the same report that it has notified the GIGS of the suspension.
According to the department, the suspension of membership of the GIES has been taken to ensure that the industry can fully implement its obligations to disclose toxic chemicals and to take corrective measures.