Wet wipes are an example of an innovation that has defied the Single-Use Plastics Directive. The fact is, we don’t know what’s in these wipes and are challenged to make informed decisions. Luckily, there’s an upcoming initiative that will help educate consumers about the plastics used in wipes. Most wet wipe production lines in the world are produced in response to the needs of customers and the market. It’s called “#It’s in our hands” and it will feature news, facts, and opinion leaders’ input. The initiative will also promote the use of green materials and greener alternatives to plastic.
A recent study reveals that a high percentage of baby wet wipes contain fossil-based synthetic fibers. Only one out of five people are aware of this fact and that, as a result, they may not be aware of the potential harm that their purchases are causing to the environment. To combat this problem, the Lenzing group has developed an eco-friendly alternative to wet wipes: VEOCEL(tm) cellulosic fibers, which are derived from renewable wood and verified sustainably managed forests. These fibers decompose in water, soil and compost – reducing the amount of pollution they cause to the environment.
Researchers conducted a study in which microfibers from wet wipes were measured using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. They found that microfibers from nonwoven wet wipes can contain up to 100% RC fibers. In addition, the characteristics of wet wipes can vary based on their raw materials and web structure, and different mechanical actions can lead to different tendencies for the generation of microfibers.
Nonwovens are an important component of wet wipes. These wipes are often used in household applications and personal care products. Nonwoven fabrics are usually made of different types of fibers. The selection of fibres and the technologies used in web formation and bonding are important for the performance of wipes. This chapter discusses the different types of nonwoven wipes, including hydroentangled composite wipes and thermobonded composite wipes. These wipes are made of airlaid, carded, or thermobonded pulp.
The study describes the chemical composition and physical properties of nonwoven materials and microfibers. This information should be useful to decision makers and manufacturers when choosing nonwovens for disposable wet wipes. This study also includes characterization of 15 commercial nonwoven products. The purpose of choosing these samples was to represent the range of wet wipes and develop relationships between physical and chemical properties.
Nonwovens in wet wipes are made of natural biopolymers, such as wood pulp and cotton. Although some products contain synthetic fibres, the majority of raw materials in wet wipes are cellulosic natural biopolymers.
Resins in wet wipes, made of non-woven cotton and rayon fibers, are not compatible with sewage systems. They don’t break down as easily as toilet paper, and their consistency means they are too thick for sewer systems. Instead of biodegrading in the water they contact, wet wipes become a soggy mass that clogs pipes.
There are many factors that influence the choice of wet strength resins. The first is the level of AOX that the resin produces. This is a problem with standard post-cleaning processes, and the efficiency of wet strength resins drops by about 10%. However, there are super-clean products that are available for the most demanding consumers.
Another important consideration is the amount of cellulose in the wipes. Wet wipes are usually wet, so the raw materials used in their production must be water-retaining and hydrophilic. To achieve a good wetting property, the cellulose material must be highly hydrophilic, or water-retaining. In addition, it needs to be non-toxic and biocompatible.
Although baby wipe formulations are improving every year, some of the chemicals found in these products can be harmful. These chemicals are toxic to children and disrupt development in the brain and other organs. They are also endocrine disruptors, which interfere with hormones. For this reason, consumers need to be aware of the ingredients in their products.
Phenoxyethanol is a chemical commonly found in wet wipes. It is generally fine when it is in its untreated form, but is sometimes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known animal carcinogen. It has also been linked to skin allergies.
Another ingredient found in wet wipes is parabens. Parabens contain estrogenic properties, which are known to increase the risk of breast cancer. They also contribute to ovarian aging, which reduces fertility. Moreover, these chemicals are allergens and can cause dermatitis and rashes.