World Of Wipes Conference Stresses On Cotton Based Nonwovens
The 17th edition of World of Wipes international conference organised by INDA, began on July 18 with its largest gathering ever, with around 500 people attending the three-day event in Atlanta.
“The first day talks focused heavily on sustainability and the efforts by the global nonwovens sector to become carbon neutral,” Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA reported.
Growing regulations on the use of plastic-based products in the EU and in the United States have heightened the need for the nonwovens and advanced textiles sector to look for alternatives to synthetic materials.
There are enormous opportunities for cellulosics such as pulp and cotton and other natural fibres such as flax and hemp in developing single use and durable nonwovens.
“Given the quantity of nonwovens that come out of high-speed machines that can operate at 1,200 metres per minute, there may not be enough non-plastic materials to meet the need in the immediate future,” CK Wong, CEO of Hong Kong based US Pacific Nonwovens said.
“Cotton can find new opportunities in the nonwovens sector as the cost will be competitive with bioplastics,”Wong added.
Japan’s Asahi Kasei has been leading in the development of spunbond nonwovens using cotton linters, to develop products for wipes and cosmetics industry.
Consumers like green products but expect products with good functionality at similar cost levels as synthetic-based nonwovens, which is a challenge for the industry.
“The nonwoven industry is transitioning to less plastic-based raw materials. Consumers are becoming curious about resources, which will drive innovation,” Tom Carlyle, Nonwovens Commercial Manager-Americas at Lenzing Fibers also said.
“Furthermore, growing regulations such as EU Single-Use Plastic Directive will necessitate the immediate need,” Caryle too added.
“Spunlace (hydro entangling) technology is employed in China to develop virgin cotton-based nonwovens with six or more lines running,” Oliver Doring, Director of Sales & Marketing at Trutzschler Nonwovens stated.
“Two spunlace lines are developing cotton-based spunlace nonwovens in India and an additional line will be online in six weeks which can develop cotton-based wipes,” he informed.