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Textiles Intelligence

Potential for biopolymers in absorbent hygiene products

This report discusses the market for AHPs and the environmental and legislative challenges facing the industry.

6th April 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  United Kingdom

Medical/Hygiene

Report summary

Disposable absorbent hygiene products (AHPs)—such as baby diapers, feminine care (femcare) products, and products for coping with adult incontinence (AI)—are convenient and contribute to healthy living. As a result, they enjoy huge popularity among consumers.

However, they are manufactured largely from spunmelt nonwovens produced from polymers derived from petroleum, and their manufacturing, use and disposal have an unfavourable environmental footprint. An estimated 1.5 bn diapers are disposed of each day, and most of the waste is either incinerated or sent to landfill as the recycling of AHPs is extremely difficult.

It is not surprising, therefore, that AHP post-consumer waste is a major environmental problem, and the industry is facing restrictions and legislation such as the Single-Use Plastics Directive in the EU. To overcome the impact of legislation, manufacturers of AHPs are exploring the use of biopolymers such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and bio-based polyester, polyamide and polypropylene.

However, global production of biopolymers amounted to only 2.1 mn tons in 2020 and so manufacturers of AHPs have to battle with plastic packaging producers for whatever capacity is available.

This report discusses the market for AHPs and the environmental and legislative challenges facing the industry. Also, it examines challenges associated with recycling AHPs, it reviews the latest developments in biopolymers, and it analyses the scope for using them in the manufacture of AHPs.

Buy this report

Publisher: Textiles Intelligence

'Potential of biopolymers and recycled synthetic fibres to create sustainable nonwovens for absorbent hygiene products (AHPs)’

23 pages, published in March 2021 

Report price: Euro 435.00; US$ 570.00 

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