Karen McIntyre wrote an article in Nonwovens Industry last week to highlight the top stories in the nonwovens industry for 2014. It’s been a good year for our industry. We pulled out a few points that we think need special attention.
- The nonwovens industry continues to grow. This is great news for all of us… converters and nonwovens manufacturers alike. McIntyre’s article suggests that the demand for nonwovens globally is expected to rise 5.3% annually to reach nine metric tons in 2017.
- The EPA Wiper Rule is in effect. The EPA finally came to the conclusion that wipes contaminated with certain hazardous solvents will not, when disposed of properly, pose any significant risk to humans or to the environment. This rule was 30 years in the making and will likely have a huge positive effect on our industry. Now, wipes manufacturers just have to wait for individual states to adopt the rule. 12 states have adopted it so far and five have decided against adoption. 25 more states have made it clear that they are likely to adopt. With $2.8 billion in sales in 2012, the adoption of this rule seems to point to an explosion in wipes use in the manufacturing segment in the near future.
- Flushability. A third set of flushability guidelines was published last year by INDA/EDANA. Manufacturers are working hard to integrate flushable technology into their processes to get a portion of the enormous wipes industry, which continues to anticipate growth of about 6-6.5% per year.
These weren’t the only changes in the nonwovens industry. Mergers and acquisitions were definitely of note in 2014. New technologies are being developed all the time. The one thing that does appear to be consistent across the board is that the future of nonwovens is certainly bright.
Blog image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin/freedigitalphotos.net