Published 3 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
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Fact: Most personal-care wipes contain plastic and therefore can become a burden on the environment. Lenzing‘s biodegradable VEOCEL™ fibers offer an alternative solution. We talked to Jürgen Eizinger, VP of Global Business Management, Nonwovens at Lenzing, about the future of wet wipes.
They are practical, hygienic and can be found in many bags and households: We
are talking about wet wipes, which today stand for rapid cleanliness. What many
people don't know is that most personal-care wipes on the market contain
fossil-based plastic and therefore can become a burden on the environment. An
alternative solution for plastic-based wipes are VEOCEL™ fibers, cellulosic
fibers of botanical origin and therefore biodegradable, developed by
We talked to Jürgen Eizinger, VP of Global Business Management, Nonwovens at
Lenzing, about the future of wet wipes and the company’s #ItsInOurHands
Jürgen Eizinger: VEOCEL branded fibers are made from the renewable material,
wood. At the end of their life cycle, VEOCEL fibers can become a part of nature
again, since they are able to biodegrade within a few weeks in soil and compost,
as well as in fresh and marine water. This integration of VEOCEL fibers into the
natural life cycle lays the foundation for a new era of biodegradable wet wipes.
JE: Although many consumers would prefer wipes made from biodegradable
fibers, most wet wipes contain fossil-based plastic materials. The majority of
consumers is unaware of this fact because there is little to no information
about fiber ingredients. In close collaboration with pioneering brands such as
Dotties® and Kindoh® as well as eco-supporters including Plastic Free
World, VEOCEL recently launched
#ItsInOurHands, [which] aims to start a widespread dialogue about wet wipes;
providing information on current issues, presenting biodegradable solutions, and
offering tips and information from sustainability experts. The #ItsInOurHands
initiative helps consumers to make a more informed choice.
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We want to change the way people think about wet wipes. More and more consumers
use wipes every day; simply because wet wipes are practical, hygienic and easily
obtainable. #ItsInOurHands creates awareness and goes for the solution — the
initiative triggers a new era of wipes by paving the way towards a widespread
dialogue along the entire value chain: #ItsInOurHands builds a bridge from
scientific insights to lifestyle topics and tips to enjoy the convenience of
wipes with a good conscience in everyday life.
JE: The Single-Use Plastics Directive is driven by ambitions to reduce
marine litter. The focus is on the 10 most common plastic objects found on
European beaches, which together constitute 70 percent of all marine litter
items. While some of these 10 product categories will be banned (e.g. plastic
other products such as wet wipes shall be specifically marked. This marking
requirement refers to harmonized disclosure of appropriate waste-management
options, as well as presence of plastics in the product. In order to reduce the
constantly rising amount of plastic in this world, everyone is called to action:
manufacturers, retailers and, of course, consumers themselves. Everyone can
support change through conscious, sustainable product
which cannot be emphasized enough. With VEOCEL fibers, we at Lenzing offer a
biodegradable solution for the production of wet wipes.
The US has also started to look more stringently at the topic of single-use
products. The issue of plastics and single-use products is gaining attention and
was recently discussed in detail at the annual Hygiene conference,
Hygienix, in Houston that we just attended. The
State of New York has already passed legislation that requires ingredient
labelling of various nonwoven products, and many states are expected to follow.
This will increase consumer awareness regarding the wide use of plastics in
JE: International certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria verify that standard VEOCEL fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments — in the soil and compost, as well as in fresh and in marine water. This certified biodegradability of our fibers lays the foundation for environmentally responsible wet wipes. The VEOCEL logo on the packaging highlights beauty and personal care products that are made from 100 percent cellulosic and biodegradable materials. With this industry-first approach, the VEOCEL brand has become a label of trust, since it enables eco-conscious consumers to make an informed product choice at a glance.
Published Jan 31, 2020 1pm EST / 10am PST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.