More than 1,000 leading hygiene industry experts gathered at the events to discuss the challenges they face and make positive predictions for the future of the business. In general, Covid and the war in Ukraine have slowed growth in the hygiene sector, but the market is expected to recover by 2024 at the latest. Everyone is struggling with rising raw material prices and energy costs, but it looks like the market is absorbing at least most of these costs.
Retail prices for disposable hygiene products have increased by an average of 15 % in Europe over the past year (source: Euromonitor). In the wipes sector, it can be observed that the high level of investment in disinfectant wipes during Covid is now slowing demand for new machines. In addition, consumers are to some extent returning to normality and using fewer disinfectant wipes than during the Covid peak.
New materials, reusable products, recycling, biodegrading, plastic problems, circular economy, CO2 footprint, reduced consumption, reduces land and water use, energy saving and much more was discussed.
The retail market for disposable hygiene products grew by only 1-2 % in the last 2 years (source: Euromonitor). In personal care, all market leaders have talked about their sustainability initiatives. In general, the consensus is that things are moving too slowly. Everyone agreed that no one can single-handedly change the market. There is a need for all major companies and the entire value chain to work together on sustainability. The focus of sustainability in personal care is on reusable, biodegradable and recyclable products.
The CAGR for wipes is expected to be 7.3 % over the next few years (source: Smithers). Much of this is expected to be in the personal care and home care segments. In the wet wipes segment, there is a strong increase in the use of biodegradable materials such as cotton, wood fibers, bast fibers, or bamboo. The growth of these fibers is over 8%, while petroleum-based fibers are only growing by 5 % (source: Smithers). In particular, the use of short wood-based pulps poses new challenges for converters, as these materials generally have lower strength values due to the shorter fibers.
At GO WIPES 2022, we presented some of the countermeasures we offer to meet this challenge.
One area is certainly our lab lines at PCMC in Green Bay, USA where we can test your sustainable materials.
Contact us for more information: sales.nonwoven(at)pcmc.com
At INDEX™23, we will introduce a brand-new sustainable wipe processing machine that specifically addresses this challenge. We can’t wait to tell you all about our future-proof solution. Come and meet us on our stand, n° 2580.
If you are interested, please send an email to sales.hygiene(at)w-d.de and you will receive a voucher code for a free ticket worth € 100. The badge will be valid for the entire event. We look forward to seeing you there!