Dispersibles Add to the Growth of the Consumer Wipes Market

Glatfelter’s Dynaweb 60/HE is the only one OK to flush.

The worldwide consumer wipes market is soaking up revenue as retail volume for the personal care products almost doubled in 10 years, from 93 billion units in 2003 to 170 billion units in 2013. Based on market studies, the year-over-year global growth rate for the consumer wipes market (household, personal care, and baby) is expected to be 4 percent for the 2016 to 2021 timeframe.

This includes consumer demand for dispersible, moist toilet tissue that disintegrates as it moves from a home’s plumbing system to municipal sewer treatment plants. Glatfelter’s Dynaweb 60/HE reacts to water and the mechanical action of moving through plumbing and sewer pipes by breaking down into individual fibers, says Matthew Addis, product engineer in the new product development department at Glatfelter’s Lydney facility in the United Kingdom. In addition, Glatfelter Dynaweb 60/HE used for dispersible, moist toilet tissue is made of 100 percent natural fiber that breaks down in aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions, Addis says.

With the growing popularity of dispersible, moist toilet tissue, however, an international problem has cropped up that calls for a public education campaign. Across the globe, uninformed consumers are flushing non-dispersible consumer wipes, too, not to mention disposable baby diapers, paper toweling, and feminine hygiene products, down the toilet. When these products encounter grease, oils, and fats, they form “fatbergs,” a word coined by the municipal water facility in London.

“They just clog the system up completely,” says Addis.

With a public education campaign and package labeling across the industry to indicate what’s OK to flush down the toilet, the convenience of consumer wipes and the market for them should continue to grow without a blot on their use.