Big Changes for Nonwovens Industry
Recent market research reports examining the technical textile markets indicate that the nonwovens industry could become the first sector to move away from synthetic fibres based on petrochemicals. This is now looking increasingly likely following an announcement by the giant consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) that it will switch to the use of 100% renewable or recycled materials in all of its products.
Its Auburn, Maine site became the first P&G manufacturing plant in North America to achieve zero waste to landfill. The feminine care facility, which produces household brand Always®, worked with both employees and suppliers to implement a process that beneficially uses 100 percent of its waste. A majority – more than 60 percent – is recycled or reused, while the remainder is converted to energy.
Their GARP (Global Asset Recovery Purchases) team connected the plant with a site solution provider, who helped sort all recyclable materials and convert existing non-recyclable materials to energy through incineration. The electricity from incineration is used by the incineration facility and the excess is sold to the local power company. The GARP team says it has diverted tens of thousands of tons from landfills while delivering tens of millions of dollars in cost recovery to the company in the past year alone.
The achievement of these sites to reach zero waste to landfill demonstrates continued progress toward P&G’s long-term environmental vision. This vision includes having zero manufacturing waste globally going to landfills, instead being beneficially reused and ending up in valued waste streams. The company also has a goal to achieve less than 0.5 percent disposed manufacturing waste by 2020.