The fabulous growth of the nonwoven industry in general and the disposable diaper in particular has been fuelled by the availability of low-cost synthetic polymers, by-products of low-cost energy production from fossil reserves priced close to extraction –as opposed to replacement- cost.
Fibre forming, web forming and web bonding technologies have evolved to use these synthetics ever more efficiently. Sustainability, biodegradability, carbon-footprint, intergenerational equity, and depletion of fossil reserves have been concerns which remained in the background throughout, until now.
Will the growth continue? The big changes which are increasingly familiar to all consumers may soon affect their purchasing decisions and it may no longer be safe simply to extrapolate past nonwoven industry trends.
We review the past 40 years and think about the future over the next few postings.
Coming Next: Diaper Trends