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Nonwovens/​Converting

Strong showing for EDANA forum

Keynotes from European policymakers and NGOs provided the bigger picture.

28th December 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brussels, Belgium

Sustainable

The first edition of the EDANA Sustainability Forum attracted over 150 nonwovens industry professionals to the Solvay Library in Brussels at the end of November, to discuss issues ranging from the future of value chain transparency to bioeconomy innovations.

Held at the heart of the European Union, the event also included presentations from European Commission (EC) staff and culminated with a tour of the European Parliament.

EDANA is well placed to foster exchanges between the industry and key stakeholders – from European policymakers to NGOs – and this was reflected in the selection of 35 speakers, including keynotes from representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the EC’s Environment Directorate General.

Split into six sessions, the forum covered the crucial role that nonwovens play in society today, a lively panel discussion on how plastics can fit into a sustainable future and presentations on how to move towards a renewable economy.

AHPs

 A session on the end of life management of AHPs (absorbent hygiene products) provided the opportunity to share the results from EDANA’s AHP Waste to Resource Initiative. The consultancy Ramboll was engaged to carry out a study based on literature reviews and expert interviews mapping existing technologies for collecting and recycling AHP waste.

The study’s findings were presented by Felicitas Frick of Ramboll and it concludes that no current initiative/technology offers a perfect technically and economically successful solution, with further investigation and research into how to recycle AHPs still needed.

© EDANA

“The presentation was really insightful and provided great insights into the challenges and the possibilities we face when we talk about sustainability within the AHPs sector,” said attendee Lasse Taidal, R&D project manager at Fibertex Personal Care. “We have a long way to go of course, because it’s one of the more challenging areas for plastic use, but collaboration is key.”

Sustainability Vision

EDANA also released its reviewed and updated Sustainability Vision at the start of the forum.

“Our previous Sustainability Vision was developed in 2018 and in this constantly evolving space no longer reflected the improvements and investments that the nonwovens industry has already made,” said Gil Stevens, EDANA’s external relations and sustainability director.

Available on the EDANA website, the revised vision is split into three pillars addressing climate action, circular solutions and a sustainable value chain. These are all topics that were very much a part of the forum programme and discussions.

Planning has already begun for the second edition of the forum, to be held again in Brussels, at the end of 2024.

www.edana.org

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