VEOCEL™ Takes Initiative With ‘Hands On’ Motto To Draw Attention To Hidden Plastics In Wet Wipes

Intriguing information is shared regarding the plastics hidden inside wet wipes that are widely used in our everyday lives during the press conference held by Lenzing Group to raise environmental awareness.

Accordingly, less than 10% of the consumers are aware of the fact that most of the wet wipes have considerable amount of plastic material inside them. Lenzing introduced VEOCEL™ fibers in order to guide consumers who would like to make sustainable and environment-friendly buying decisions as well as the ‘Hands On’ initiative aiming to promote the consumers to purchase biodegradable products.

Manufacturing environment-friendly special fibers from renewable wood raw material, Lenzing Group held a press conference intending to increase environmental awareness to promote the usage of more sustainable raw materials.

Lenzing Global Nonwovens Business Management Vice President Jurgen Eizinger spoke at the press conference, in which notable information was shared regarding the plastics hidden inside the products that are widely used in our everyday livesand stated that they produced special fibers using environment-friendly and innovative technologies, and moreover, contributed to raise environmental awareness of the sector and consumers.

In this regard, Eizinger indicated that VEOCEL™ brand was released to the market as the new nonwoven brand of the Lenzig Group, adding “More people are using wet wipes in everyday life due to their being practical, hygienic and ready to use. However, studies reveal very few people know that most of these wet wipes contain considerable amount of plastic materials and would harm the environment if not disposed of properly. According to sectoral data, less than 10% of the consumers are aware of the fact that wet wipes have fossil based plastics in them. In the meantime, 9 out of 10 people stated that they would prefer to use a biodegradable alternative.”

Eizinger reminded that parallel to the efforts of the lawmakers who try to diminish global plastic waste amount, European Union (EU) recently released a directive regarding single-use plastic products proceeded with the following, “According to this new EU initiative, wet wipe packages will have to be marked concerning the negative effects to the environment and they will have to be disposed of properly. The wood-based, botanical-origin fibers of the Lenzing Group offers an alternative to the fossil based plastic materials inside the wet wipes. These botanical-origin fibers produced by renewable wood material with an environment-friendly production process are completely biodegradable in sea and land recycling to nature.

If the wet wipe package has VEOCEL™ logo on it, the product is 100% biodegradable

Miray Demirer Acar, Head of Turkey & Middle East and Africa Marketing Communication and Branding Department, expressed that the consumers could take a step forward by going for the biodegradable products in order to reduce the plastic waste in the sea and therefore had launched the ‘Hands On’ initiative. Acar indicated that, with the ‘Hands On’ initiative, they aimed to foster a dialog among the wet wipe customers with environmental consciousness, sustainability experts, and people sharing similar concerns to promote the usage of environment-friendly and more sustainable raw materials. Acar added “With this initiative, we wanted to raise awareness about the hidden plastic materials inside the wet wipes that are omnipresent in everyday life. Day by day, the amount of plastic waste in the sea increases which endangers both human health as well as the nature. If we pay attention to the contents of the products we use and prefer sustainable and environment-friendly ones, we can pass a better world on to the next generations. As a manufacturer, we try to fulfill our responsibility by producing sustainable and environment-friendly raw materials. The consumers should realize that their buying decisions are significant and therefore can realize a better future by going towards environment-aware choices.”

Acar also drew attention to the fact that the consumers who desire to make a sustainable shopping decision were in need of a good guidance and assurance. Acar concluded her remarks as: “Therefore, in the beginning of this year, we announced new certification criteria for our VEOCEL™ brand. Accordingly, only biodegradable botanic-origin fibers can be used in VEOCEL™ wet wipes. Consumers will be certain that their purchase is sustainable and environment-friendly when they see the VEOCEL™ logo as a ‘Trusted Brand’ on the packaging.”

Lenzing™ Fibers are Fully Biodegradable in Water, Soil and Compost

The Lenzing Group received confirmation of the full biodegradability of its fibers in fresh water by the independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS).

The new and existing international certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria verify that Lenzing™ Viscose fibers, Lenzing™ Modal fibers and Lenzing™ Lyocell fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments: in the soil, compost as well as in fresh and in marine water.

The biodegradability of cellulosic products and the synthetic fiber polyester was tested in fresh water at OWS according to valid international standards, e.g. ISO 14851. At the end of the trial period, Lenzing™ wood-based cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp were shown to be fully biodegradable in fresh water in contrast to synthetic polyester fibers. The fact that synthetic materials are not biodegradable leads to major problems in wastewater treatment plants and potentially marine litter. In turn, this not only harms fish and birds living in and close to the oceans but also all marine organisms and us humans.

“The Lenzing Group operates a truly circular business model based on the renewable raw material wood to produce biodegradable fibers returning to nature after use. This complete cycle comprises the starting point of the core value of sustainability embedded in our company strategy sCore TEN and is the ‘raison d’etre’ of our company”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “In living up to this positioning, we not only enhance the business of our suppliers, customers and partners along the value chain but also improve the state of the entire textile and nonwovens industries.”

Both the textile and nonwovens industries face huge challenges with respect to littering. If current trends continue, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Therefore, legislative bodies worldwide can no longer ignore the issue and have moved towards plastics legislation aimed at limiting the vast amount of waste. In response, European lawmakers issued the Single-Use Plastics Directive currently being transposed into national legislation in the EU member states.

Conventional wet wipes and hygiene products mostly contain plastic and were thus identified as one of the product categories to be singled out. Less polluting alternatives are generally encouraged by NGOs and legislators, e.g. products made of biodegradable wood-based cellulosic fibers. Plastic waste including microplastic can persist in the environment for centuries. In contrast, biodegradable materials are the best alternative to single-use plastics because they fully convert back to nature by definition and thus do not require recycling.

Lenzing™ Fibers Help to Improve The Quality of Life for Butterfly Children

Undergarments, pajamas and bed linens tested for months. Moisture management of fibers reduce sweating and hence itching. Soft and smooth fibers lead to fewer skin injuries.  

The Lenzing Group, market leader for specialty fibers from the renewable raw material wood, has been providing both financial support and textiles made of its fibers to DEBRA Austria, the patient organization for “butterfly children.”

In recent months, several patients with the skin disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) have tested leggings, undergarments, pajamas, quilts and bed linens made of TENCEL™ fibers and have found them to be comfortable and skin-friendly. The skin of EB patients is fragile like the wings of a butterfly. For this reason, coarse fibers, scratching seams, buttons, zippers and fibers which hardly or do not at all absorb sweat frequently lead to additional blisters and sores and increased itching. In contrast, TENCEL™ fibers feature particularly good moisture management and thus support the nature temperature-regulating properties of the body.

“Lenzing™ fibers are characterized by their special softness and are thus pleasant for the ‘butterfly children’ to wear”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “We are proud that textiles made of our fibers are very positively received by young and older EB patients and that we are able to make an important contribution here to improving their quality of life. We make use of positive feedback to develop new products which are even softer and more comfortable.” he adds.

“I am pleased that the Lenzing Group is devoting its attention to further developing specialty fibers, which is an important topic for ‘butterfly children’. This is because pleasant and soft garments which support the nature temperature regulation of the skin and thus a cool and dry feeling contribute to a better quality of life for younger and older patients on a daily basis”, states Rainer Riedl, father of a “butterfly child” and Chairman and Managing Director of DEBRA Austria.

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a genetic disease which is currently incurable. The skin of affected people is particularly vulnerable due to the lack of structural proteins, like the wings of a butterfly. This condition is the origin of the name “butterfly children”. Thanks to its TENCEL™ fibers, the Lenzing Group has a product which stands out due to its particular softness and high moisture absorption and therefore offers outstanding wearing comfort. The cooperation of DEBRA Austria and the Lenzing Group as well as other partners such as the Ebensee Fashion School will be continued due to the positive feedback.

Lenzing’s New Brand VEOCEL™ Responds to Increasing Concerns for Sustainability in the Nonwoven Market

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.

Flushable Products

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.”

Lenzing Offers New Option For Flushable Wipes with Eco Disperse Technology

Lenzing has announced the launch of a new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibre with Eco Disperse technology, which, with enhanced biological disintegration performance, is designed for use in flushable wipes.

The new VEOCEL™ variant is said to offer improved wet strength, optimized flushability and, says Lenzing, represents the most advanced fibre under the VEOCEL™ brand portfolio.

With botanic origin, all VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibres with Eco Disperse technology feature strong wet strength, biodegradability and effective liquid management. These cellulosic fibers come in cut lengths of 8 mm to 12 mm, and are versatile for blending ratios of 20 per cent – 40 per cent in most wetlaid processing technologies. Nonwoven products featuring a blend containing any of the VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers with Eco Disperse technology and wood pulp have been certified as “fully flushable” according to INDA/EDANA Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products issued in May 2018, after passing seven rigorous industrial tests.

While non-biodegradable synthetic fibres such as polyester are the most common blending fibres in today’s nonwoven fabrics for wipes applications, Wolfgang Plasser, vice president of Global Business Management Nonwovens, Lenzing, notes that the versatility of VE- OCEL™ fibers offer a sustainable and botanic alternative to synthetic materials. When added to nonwoven products, VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers offers valueadded benefits of enhanced absorbency, natural smoothness, and most importantly, biodegradability.

“We take a proactive approach and lay the foundation for flushable wet wipes that combine convenience with environmental responsibility, so that we can bring optimal quality and performance to flushable nonwoven products, as well as other nonwoven segments,” he said.

Enabled by Eco Disperse technology, wipes made from the new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers have high wet strength usability and can disintegrate within a shorter period of time. For instance, nonwoven fabrics with 20 per cent of the new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers and 80 per cent of wood pulp reach more than 90 per cent disintegration within 30 minutes, which is faster than the passing benchmark of the Disintegration Test FG502 in INDA/EDANA Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products issued in May 2018.