The tissue industry, like any other, has been significantly reshaped by Industry 4.0. A landscape that was once defined and fueled by competition has partially given way to leveraging the practicalities of collaboration.
Sustainability has transitioned from buzzword to global call-to-action in a world dealing with ongoing environmental crises. In the paper industry, sensitivity is heightened around sustainability given the materials used to manufacture products. In burgeoning categories such as paper towels — a worldwide market projected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 5% over the next half-decade1 — ecology is a top priority, as demonstrated by emerging trends and technologies surrounding folded products.
Away-from-home (AFH) products have become one of the most widely used commodities in the world. It’s estimated that nearly one-third of the tissue market — about 21 million tons of tissue paper every year1 — is currently designated specifically to AFH. Global demand — led by North America and Europe, and fastest-growing in Asia-Pacific countries2 — is rapidly pushing the numbers higher, especially in facial tissue and toilet tissue. The increase in these AFH products, in particular, is partially attributed to changes in consumer behaviors since an uptick in disposable income is providing more opportunities for travel, hotel stays, and dining out.3
Converting paper to tissue or toweling is an adhesive-intensive process. It requires a total of four adhesives: one used during core winding, a second during pickup/transfer, a third for ply bonding lamination and a fourth seals the tail. With greater emphasis being placed on sustainability throughout the paper industry as a whole, this reliance on adhesives has come under recent scrutiny.
The statistics are jarring: Of the 6,300 million metric tons of plastic ever produced, nearly 91% has never been recycled. An estimated 12% of plastic waste has been incinerated, and the remaining 79% is littering landfills.1
Globally, environmental conservation is a top priority. Industry, on the whole, is generally considered a top threat to resources and climate change. Recent statistics bear out the concern. Around 38% of overall global energy consumption and 24% of total CO2 emissions are attributed to industrial production.1 Continued industrial expansion suggests the percentages will continue to rise exponentially, as will energy prices since general worldwide demand for energy is predicted to nearly double by 2035.
In the first article of this two-part series, we explored global initiatives and legislation aimed at restricting or eliminating single-use plastics, especially as it relates to plastic packaging. Driven by mounting evidence that minimizing reliance on plastic is critical to ecological and environmental preservation, compostable packaging solutions are being pursued.
The past several decades have been a boon for plastics. Global production has topped 300 million tons annually, on its way to an estimated 650 million tons per year by 2035.1 In the EU alone, about 49 million tons of plastic are generated annually to meet varying degrees of need in the electronics, automotive, and building and construction industries — but at nearly 40% of overall consumption, plastic packaging is by far the greatest demand-generator.1
Pulp prices have seen their share of spikes over the years. 2011 brought with it the industry’s highest price point in 30 years, only to be usurped in 2015. Currently, the price of wood pulp is forecasted to rise at an estimated annualized rate of 5.1% leading up to and through 2019.
Private label tissue will soon own one-third of a market once dominated by name brands. What’s fueling the change? What’s next for tissue converters? Learn more in this brief video.