Producing quality fibers from renewable wood raw materials with environmentally friendly and innovative technologies, Lenzing Group has conducted a survey with 3.900 women consumers of wet wipes and hygienic products living in Europe, North America and Asia.
The survey was conducted by SSI, an independent market research company. When consumers in the survey were asked which environmental concerns were more important for them, biodegradability (over 60%) and recycling (approx. 45%) was the top answers.
Eco-friendly production is an issue, not only the consumers, but also the manufacturers and brands focus on. Especially the manufacturers of wet wipes and toilet wipes are making significant investments in this area in line with the increasing awareness on the flushableness and durability of fibers obtained from petrochemicals. Setting the global standards in fibers,Lenzing has taken a very important step in this field last year. The group’s brand, VEOCEL ™, positioned in the nonwoven industry, has announced the Eco Disperse technology, which enables production of flushable toilet wipes.
Wolfgang Plasser, Global Business Management Vice President at Lenzing AG Nonwoven Group, said that they are continuing their work with the VEOCEL ™ brand in the nonwoven market since June 2018. Plasser said, “The VEOCEL™ fibers are certified clean and safe, biodegradable, from botanic origin and produced in an environmentally responsible production process.” The most important advantage of the Eco Disperse technology products, which are considered to be the most advanced fibers in the brand’s portfolio, is that the product is completely soluble after mixing with the water thanks to its short cutting length and strong fine diameter. These features make it possible to flush products such as wet wipes. Wolfgang Plasser, Global Business Management Vice President at Lenzing AG Nonwoven Group, said that “You need to pass a series of seven tests to reach flushability level and to be able to claim that your product is flushable.” These groups of tests were launched by INDA and EDANA together in the US and Europe under what is referred to as GD4. This gives a guideline to players in the flushable nonwovens market. The application requires to meet two targets. One is to be able to do the cleaning job and the other is to disintegrate completely while flushed without blocking the sewage systems. This was a tricky thing and took us a while to develop such a product.”
Designed to be used in wet toilet wipes, this fiber contains nonwoven fabrics with 20% of the new Veocel Lyocell fibres and 80% of wood pulp. The fiber could reach 90% disintegration within 30 minutes, faster than the passing INDA/EDANA benchmark.
It can also be used in the baby wipes!
Stating that as Lenzing they focus on 100% biodegradable, single-use nonwoven segment, Wolfgang Plasser said that the wet wipes products come to the fore in the category of single-use products. Plasser also said that they foresee that the VEOCEL™ with Eco Disperse technology, which has a wet strength of about 50% higher than viscose fiber, will be used in non-flushable industrial products and baby wipes in the coming period.
A sustainable alternative
Uğur Uyansoy, Nonwoven Segment Business Development and Sales Manager at Lenzing Elyaf AŞ., said that “Turkey is a developing market in the nonwovens and is open to sustainable solutions. Thanks to their botanical origin and their biodegradability, the VEOCEL ™ fibers are an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative. Our fibers can be used in the body wipes, wet wipes, baby wipes, wet toilet wipes, and even for the surfaces in addition to beauty products such as make-up cleansing wipes. The added value benefits of the VEOCEL ™ Lyocell fibers, such as high absorbency, natural smoothness and biodegradability can gain a different perspective for the nonwoven market.”