Director, Jacob Holm
2:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Are Plastics Dead in Nonwoven Wipes? What Plastic-Free Consumers Really Want
With governments and regulatory bodies placing greater pressure on manufacturers to forge sound management practices for their use of plastics, and with some consumer groups even clamoring for “a plastic-free world,” producers of consumer wipes stand at an innovation and investment crossroads. To remain competitive, the industry must determine a path forward that accounts for disparate, and sometimes conflicting, market forces: ecology and performance, waste reduction and waste management, raw material choices and process-ability, data-driven LCAs and consumer perceptions, stakeholder value and social responsibility, production and disposal costs, positive and negative labeling, and more. Compounding the challenge is the very definition of plastic; this remains unclear, with implications for material choices.
In order to consider what a strategic roadmap for consumer wipes producers might look like, this presentation explores the concerns that have led to heightened awareness of plastics in wipes and resulting challenges, and discusses the larger picture of how the industry might address these concerns. The presentation explores viewpoints of sustainability in consumer wipes manufacturing; examines how sustainability frames decision-making about wipes manufacturing, from raw materials to processing to influencing end user and consumer behaviors; and considers what questions and factors will help define the innovation and investment strategies that best respond to the challenge of plastics in nonwoven wipes.