- Environment friendly
THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE
According to a sustainability report from the industry organization Edana, only 30% of nonwovens are produced from renewable raw materials, while 70% is made from petroleum based raw material. This is one of the major challenges this industry is facing; to find alternative raw materials that both fulfil property requirement and is biodegradable and/or renewable.
We especially see an increased demand in industries whose climate footprint is being discussed and constantly evaluated. For example, within auto, packaging, disposable products and within the furniture industry. In these industries there is a large environmental gain when changing to sustainable nonwovens.
RECYCLABILITY & BIODEGRADABLE
As it is now, PLA is accounting for the majority of the biodegradable nonwovens. PLA is a starch-based material that has a
significantly lower impact on the environment compared to petroleum-based raw materials used in nonwoven.
In some industries it is critical to look at how the nonwoven can be recycled. Using recycled material is also an alternative, such as using recycled PET bottles for making the nonwovens.
Another road is using different layers of the same type of polymer, making the product a monomer. This makes it easier to melt down and recycle it without losing properties.
IMPORTANT TO HAVE IN MIND
As the demand for sustainable nonwoven is increasing it might also lead to a future deficiency in raw materials among suppliers. So, make sure to plan production and order sustainable/recyclable nonwoven well in advance!