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AUGUST 25 - 27, 2020

Conference Speakers


Geoff Collins, Ph.D.

Director, Jacob Holm


Dr Geoff Collins is currently Group Director Sustainability & Business Development at Jacob Holm & Sons AG. After earning his PhD in Colour Chemistry and the University of Leeds, UK in 1997 he joined Courtaulds in the Tencel dyeing & finishing research group. Following activities in product development and technical marketing including a period living in India when the business was taken over by Lenzing in 2004, Dr Collins became Head of Business Development for the Textile BU covering apparel, home textiles and technical textiles. In 2007 he moved to Hong Kong to manage the Asian market for the Nonwovens BU then in 2013 to Lenzing headquarters in Austria as part of the Strategic Research Group leading open innovation and external collaboration. Dr Collins joined Jacob Holm & Sons, moving to Switzerland at the end of 2014 where roles have included management of byproduct division, Intellectual Property and Sustainability.
Thursday, August 27
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Challenges of Plastics in Nonwoven Wipes I

Are Plastics Dead in Nonwovens Wipes? What 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.