Friday 30 May 2014

INDA Vision Dallas: Wetlace, AI, Diaper Bank & Sustainability

Here are the last of the summaries of the Vision papers:

Mark Janulis, Sales Director of NAFTA-Andritz Inc. promoted Andritz machinery in general and the Andritz hydroentangled wet-laid nonwoven production line in particular.  To make flushable wipes the Wetlace line uses a flat-bed one-side only hydroentanglement zone instead of the usual both-sides drum system, and this, when used with fibres no longer than 10mm can make wipe substrate that passes all the latest flushability tests.  The recommended stock is woodpulp reinforced with either viscose or Tencel fibre.  The line can run up to 400m/min but will cost about 2.5x that of a dry-lay line.

Jim Minetola, Technical Services Director at First Quality Enterprises reviewed the progress made since the National Association for Continence launched its initiative to provide quality standards for adult incontinence products.  NAFC comprises Medicaid managers from CA, MA, MN, SC, and TX., AI producers (Attends, FQ, KC, Medline, PBE, SCA), INDA, the Wound and Ostomy Nurses Association and the National Family Caregivers Association.  The performance measures being used on the AI briefs are INDA standard strikethrough and rewet, capacity under load and elastic tension, but the total picture considers size range, absorbency range, closure systems, breathability, and safety.  

Recommended maximum retention under pressure ranges from  400mls for premium-priced products to 250mls for standard products. Strikethrough times range from  50-60 seconds for briefs to 35-45 seconds for underwear.   Rewets below 0.3gms feel bone dry, and rewets above 0.5 feel wet to the user.  Bone-dry products lead to skin damage through abrasion.

·        In 25,000 tests, the modal urine void is 100 mls in the daytime and 200mls overnight.  Most pads are therefore overdesigned and absorbency is overpromoted.

Joanne Goldblum, Founder and Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank, said her organisation was a charity providing free diapers to the poor with Huggies as its main sponsor.  Huggies have so far donated 22 million diapers in the USA and Canada.  She described diapers as a basic need along with food and housing, but said they were not covered by Medicaid  Food Stamps or WIC.  Reusable diapers were not a good alternative because Laundromats would not allow them to be washed.  Without disposables, mothers could not access child-care and could not get a job.  Asked how many children suffer diaper-poverty, Ms Goldblum thought it would be about 100million.

Lee Ann Head, VP Research and Insight at Shelton Consulting has found that in 2013, 66% of consumers care about sustainability compared with 60% in 2009.  68% are looking for low-energy light bulbs, 65% for sustainable home cleaning products and 63% for sustainable paper products.  Their top environmental concerns last year were climate change, pollution and ozone depletion.  They feel most guilty about wasting food, water and electricity and worry about failure to recycle.  However over half do recycle and a third actively avoid disposable products such as plates, cups and towels.  10% will seek out bioplastics or other compostable disposables. 48% say a company’s environmental reputation will affect buying decisions and claim they will stop buying from companies exposed as harming the environment.  The key features encouraging them to buy are “Made in the USA”, “No chemicals”, “No animal testing” “Creates no chemical waste”, and “made from recycled material.”

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