KELHEIM, Germany — September 5, 2017 — Kelheim’s viscose specialty fiber VILOFT® has been granted the OK biodegradable MARINE certificate from the Belgian certification body Vinçotte. The fibers were tested according to International Standards and confirmed they naturally break down completely in marine water.
Viloft short cut fibers from Bavarian viscose fiber specialist Kelheim Fibres have been specifically engineered for use in flushable moist personal hygiene tissues. These specialty fibers are characterized by their flat cross-section and their short fiber length — both these properties have proven particularly beneficial in delivering rapid disintegration of such products. Moist tissues made with Viloft and cellulose can prevent the increasing problem of blocked pumps in sewage treatment plants.
Looking beyond the boundaries of local waste water management, there is a second, equally important aspect to the disposal of moist hygiene wipes: worldwide, about 1.1 million tons of nonwovens are used for wipes applications every year, with a majority of these based on petrochemicals. A large percentage of these wipes is used for baby and personal care; these wipes are more likely to be disposed of incorrectly, either via the toilet, or even directly discharged into the environment: wipes are among the most common debris found on beaches.
Passing through the sewer system or disposed of on the beach: wipes based on petrochemicals become a significant part of the vast amount of plastic waste — estimates range from 4.4 to 13 million metric tons — that pollute our oceans every year. This marine litter, with degrading times up to 450 years, poses a threat for marine life and can enter the food chain as microplastics — with as yet unknown consequences.
Since the recycling of personal hygiene products is a challenging task, the best choice is to substitute the non-degradable by bio-degradable components wherever possible, particularly for such disposable applications.
Viloft fibers and wipes made of Viloft and cellulose are completely bio-degradable. Viloft, as all viscose fibers, is made of cellulose — the most abundant material in nature and a renewable raw material of which all plants are made. Therefore, the biodegradation of cellulose is a naturally occurring process in nature.
The “OK biodegradable MARINE” certificate from Vinçotte is — as well as the “compostable” seal of Kelheim’s fibers — one more proof for the excellent biodegradability of the fiber in different environments.
Posted September 5, 2017
Source: Kelheim Fibres