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The Sustainable Transformation Road of Wet Wipes Industry in 2024

Views: 56     Author: Allen Yi     Publish Time: 2024-04-21      Origin: Site


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Sywipe's wet wipes manufacturing process video

The Flourishing Wet Wipes Market

The consumer wet wipes market is thriving, with consumers relying more than ever on wet wipes for hand hygiene, surface disinfection, baby care, women's care, adult care and bathroom cleanliness. This trend has been observed by SYWIPE wet wipes manufacturers.

According to data from Smithers, the nonwoven fabric market consumed 1.4 million tons of nonwoven fabric in 2020, with a market value of $19.6 billion. The annual growth rate from 2015 to 2020 was 7.9%. However, the demand for wet wipes surged significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to even higher figures. Even after demand peaked in the second quarter of 2020, sales in certain categories remained more than 20% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The increasing number of consumers using wet wipes is driving this growth. Recent surveys show a 30% increase in regular wet wipe usage compared to 2008. Additionally, there has been a 44% increase in people using surface disinfection wipes since the start of the Covid pandemic, a behavior expected to continue.

This growth has prompted investments from major wet wipe manufacturers and their suppliers, aiming to capitalize on this expansion. The two largest wet wipe companies, Nice-Pak and Rockline Industries, have announced extensive investments in the United States, primarily for surface disinfection wipes. Clorox, the leader in disinfectant wipes, has added a new production line in Atlanta, Georgia, and expanded its network of wet wipe manufacturers in the US and globally.

Expanding Sustainable Innovations in Wet Wipes

With the continued rise in wet wipes usage, the industry faces challenges in green products. Driving this trend is not only government legislation, such as the European Single-Use Plastics Directive and similar measures being evaluated in several US states, but also consumer preferences for more natural products.

Price Hanna Consulting's Managing Partner, Price Hanna, notes that more consumer-facing brands are vying for consumers who prioritize all disposable materials. "Millennials and younger consumers are driving this trend, but the public is increasingly concerned about sustainability," she explains. "In addition to consumer-facing brands, we also see major manufacturers and their brands adopting this strategy in baby and feminine care products."

Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark launched the Huggies Pure Bio range of biodegradable wet wipes in the UK, which degrade biologically in simulated landfill conditions after 15 days.

Huggies stated that these plastic-free wipes are made from 100% natural fibers. Independent testing has shown that Huggies Pure Bio wipes biodegrade after 15 days in landfill conditions, making it the brand's first biodegradable product. The brand commits to eliminating plastic from its baby wipes range in the UK within five years or sooner.

In addition to introducing the first biodegradable product, Huggies has made significant progress in achieving its "minimal footprint" goals. Achievements to date include removing 359 tons of plastic from all baby wipes products annually, removing 17 tons of plastic annually from the Huggies Extra Care product portfolio, and removing internal plastic bags from its bulk packaging boxes, saving 43 tons of plastic annually.

Ori Ben Shai, Vice President and Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark UK & Ireland, said, "We know that for parents who consider wet wipes a daily parenting essential while also working to minimize their impact on the planet, this announcement will be welcome news." "No parent should have to compromise between caring for their child and protecting the environment, so we're proud to offer them an affordable, sustainable solution centered around baby skin care."

"Launching our first biodegradable product brings us one step closer to achieving our 'minimal footprint' mission. We know this ambitious plan has a long way to go, but we're committed to developing the best possible products to meet the evolving needs of consumers."

Similarly, Unicharm Corporation will launch the MamyPoko Premium Baby Wipes in Taiwan this month. The new product features an organic cotton composite surface for safety and environmental use and is certified by "OEKOTEX 100," the world's highest safety standard, and has received "FSC certification."

"OEKO-TEX" Standard 100 is an international safety certification awarded by OEKO-TEX community-certified testing units for the analysis and testing of more than 350 harmful chemicals in textiles that meet strict standards. To receive this certification label, all materials and chemicals used in the product must meet specific testing standards. In other words, products with this label are "proven" to have very high safety standards.

Unicharm is working to protect the bright future of babies, not to mention providing safe and reliable products, and is actively engaged in earth-friendly sustainable activities through the ORIGABITS project. In 2019, the company received "OEKO-TEX certification" for its entire lineup of premium Natural Moony products, and is now launching the premium and environmentally friendly "MamyPoko Premium Baby Wipes" in China Taiwan.

With many manufacturers and retailers setting sustainability goals, the use of natural fibers such as cotton, viscose, flax, and hemp in wet wipes


what are the best biodegradable wipes?

Launch of New Products and Technologies

In May of this year, baby care brand Coterie introduced a new wipe made from 100% plant-based biodegradable and compostable materials. Developed in collaboration with the Veocel brand, Coterie wipes, containing 99% water, are the most sustainable and largest (by 30%) baby wipes on the US market.

According to recent certification tests, these wipes have been proven to be fully decomposable within weeks, compared to similar wipes that may take hundreds of years, even under the most adverse conditions. By contrast, acceptable standards for degradable products may take up to six months, while plastic products, like most competitive wipes, may take centuries. Additionally, these new wipes are the first in the nation to receive certifications for chemical safety from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), mildness from the National Eczema Association, and sustainability from TüV-OK Compost Home.

"Let's face it, changing diapers or cleaning up isn't the most ideal task. Our new wipes make this process simple and efficient while being gentle on babies, parents, and the planet," said Frank Yu, Founder and CEO of Coterie. "Our mission is to revitalize the baby care space while setting new industry standards for performance and sustainability. Our collaboration with Veocel is a testament to our continued investment and dedication to sustainable innovation, and we're proud to design another high-performance product that effectively cleans, enhances skin health, and is environmentally friendly."

Meanwhile, North American household and personal care product manufacturer RadienzLiving has introduced a proprietary plant-based disinfectant formula, along with a sustainable 105mm wipe canister produced using Altium's Dura-Lite technology, reducing plastic usage by 23%. The addition of these two innovative solutions reaffirms the company's commitment to creating a more sustainable world through safe and effective products.

"As a direct result of the latest consumer insights, RadienzLiving recognizes that incorporating our exclusive plant-based disinfectant formula and Altium's Dura-Lite wipe canister into our product portfolio is a key way to strengthen our company's commitment to sustainable solutions," said Matt Stillings, CEO of RadienzLiving. "With two-thirds of consumers believing that natural cleaning products are beneficial for keeping homes safe and the environment clean, we recognize the importance of continuing to invest in these sustainable product solutions. We look forward to seeing these new innovations strengthen our customer partnerships and impact consumers."

RadienzLiving's commitment to sustainability is also reflected in its adoption of the new 105mm wipe canister designed by AltiumDura-Lite, which uses 23% less plastic than traditional wipe canisters. According to IRI data, nearly 1 billion plastic canisters are used in the US annually. It is estimated that if every company were to use Altium's Dura-Lite canisters, the US would reduce plastic consumption by approximately 14,000 tons annually.


Biodegradable flushable wipes of plant fiber

Transition to Plant Fiber-based Materials in Wipes

In terms of substrates, nonwoven fabric manufacturers serving the global wipes market continue to focus on alternative raw materials. Nonwoven supplier Suominen has set a target to increase the sales of sustainable materials by 50% and introduce more than 10 sustainability products annually. In 2020, the company launched 9 sustainable products, resulting in a sales growth of 22.5%.

"Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for our customers and other stakeholders," said Lynda Kelly, Senior Vice President of Business Development. "We offer customers products made from renewable, recycled, compostable, and plastic-free materials to assist them in achieving their own environmental goals. Therefore, we have introduced a range of sustainable choices for the household market."

To align with this strategy, Suominen has introduced BiolacePure, a 100% plant-based cleaning product. The development of this innovative material, which offers excellent liquid management and cleaning performance, is based on Suominen's long history and expertise in producing pulp-based products.

Another sustainable household product introduced is BiolaceBamboo, which also offers superior cleaning capabilities. As the name suggests, the primary raw material for Biolace Bamboo is bamboo — a perennial herbaceous plant that is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Its regenerative rate after harvest makes it a considerable alternative to other renewable raw materials.

"Compared to traditional fossil-based nonwovens used for wipes, BiolacePure and BiolaceBamboo have significant advantages in reducing carbon footprint and environmental impact," added Kelly.

Meanwhile, BiolaceUltrasoft is a nonwoven fabric for personal care and baby products made from plant-based, biodegradable, plastic-free, and compostable materials. It is the newest addition to Suominen's sustainable product portfolio and a continuation of its growing Biolace product line introduced over a decade ago.

The development of BiolaceUltrasoft meets both sustainability requirements and customer and consumer quality expectations. According to Suominen's tests, BiolaceUltrasoft nonwoven fabric structure and composition improve cleaning efficiency by 25% compared to 100% adhesive water-spun fabrics of the same basis weight and by 38% compared to polyester wipes.

"BiolaceUltrasoft is a sustainable product with high cleaning efficiency and exceptional softness. It is perfect for baby and personal care products like cosmetic wipes and baby wipes. Its softness also makes it suitable for gentle skincare products," said Category Management Manager Johanna Sirén.

Meanwhile, Jacob Holm has introduced a new sustainable member to its Sontara EC family in the EMEA region. Sontara EC Green is a unique, brand-new, high-performance 100% cellulose-based product made using Sontara's proprietary technology. This ultra-pure manufacturing process creates a 100% bio-based product without any adhesives, chemicals, or silicones. Sontara EC Green is patented and produced from renewable resources, making it an excellent alternative to non-biodegradable substrates. Food contact safe, wipes come in convenient dispenser boxes and sealed packaging to prevent any contamination. With this product, users can have the key cleaning capabilities they need while being environmentally responsible.

In addition to newly introduced sustainable packaging made from recyclable materials and new folded wipe formats, Jacob Holm is adding this sustainable option to its Sontara EC product line. This new construction is another step forward in Jacob Holm's commitment to sustainability and continuous innovation. Developing more sustainable materials is a major part of Jacob Holm's Project Boost, a multi-million-dollar global expansion plan that will increase capacity in all its factories worldwide.

"The Boost project is our response to the increasing demand from global partners to provide more sustainable substrate choices and to continue to maintain our position as leaders in nonwoven innovation," said CEO Martin Mikkelsen.

This focus on sustainability will continue after Jacob Holm's acquisition by Glatfelter, expected to be completed later this year. As a manufacturer of airlaid nonwovens, Glatfelter offers wipes substrates in 30 grades with a high proportion of renewable materials and wood pulp. Moreover, most of these products do not require the "plastic in product" label required by the European Single-Use Plastics Directive.

For the disinfectant wipes market, Glatfelter now offers an environmentally friendly cellulose airlaid substrate for GlatClean disinfectant wipes.

Chris Astley, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Glatfelter, stated: "Glatfelter is committed to providing customers with wipes substrates that exceed standard levels in hygiene, safety, and sustainability." "High-quality disinfectants deserve the best substrates found in products like GlatClean, and we are proud to have invented an environmentally friendly, cellulose-based airlaid solution for cleaning and disinfectant wipes."

GlatClean is durable, soft, and has excellent liquid absorption capacity. During storage, it provides lower fluid transfer through stacking or rolling and maintains strength and integrity in aqueous, quaternary ammonium, and alcohol-based solutions. GlatClean is primarily composed of cellulose pulp and, with its unique combination of characteristics, offers a sustainable and effective solution for the growing market of disinfectant wipes.

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