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New initiatives for Suominen

Market demand in Europe has changed remarkably towards more sustainable products, company observes.

30th June 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nakkila, Finland

Medical/Hygiene, Sustainable

Suominen is launching a number of new wipes substrates and undertaking a €6 million upgrade at its plant in Nakkila, Finland, where it has also established a proprietary compost test centre.

As a sustainable product designed for dry and wet wipes, the company’s Biolace Bamboo delivers superior dry-softness, low linting and cleanability as a biodegradable alternative to viscose and cotton nonwovens. Its dry texture is said to resemble a mixture of cashmere and silk and it is suitable for both sensitive skin and for cleaning hard surfaces like glass. Bamboo is a perennial grass that is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world.

Biolace Silva meanwhile has a 50% lower carbon footprint than a conventional 100% viscose product, exploiting the natural power of pulp to provide its cleaning performance and cloth-like look and feel.

In addition, the premium wetlaid nonwoven has extreme strength and thickness and 150% more fibre surface than standard viscose for difficult cleaning tasks. Due to its stability and low 2:1 MD:CD ratio, it enables both easy converting and one-at-a-time dispensing.

Hydraspun Reserve is the latest addition to the company’s moist toilet tissue nonwoven portfolio, delivering full dispersibility at a lower basis weight and passing the standards of International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG) and INDA/EDANA (GD4).

Biolace Bamboo’s dry texture is said to resemble a mixture of cashmere and silk. © Suominen

The expansion at the Nakkila will be completed in the second half of 2023.

“Market demand in Europe has changed remarkably towards more sustainable products,” said president and CEO Petri Helsky. “With this investment we are responding to the increased demand for environmentally friendly products and will also enhance our operational performance in terms of safety, quality and productivity.”

Suominen’s compost test centre in Nakkila has been developed to determine the biodegradability of nonwovens made of renewable raw materials by initially analysing disintegration in compost conditions to support product development. In-house compostability tests have already shown impressive results – Suominen’s 100% viscose product, for example, disintegrates fully in home and industrial compost conditions in less than three weeks.

“The test centre supports statements about our compostable products and provides us with the opportunity to learn more about both raw materials and develop products further,” said Niina Salonoja, the company’s R&D manager.

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