- Simone Preuss |
Austrian fibre producer, The Lenzing Group, received confirmation of the full biodegradability of its fibers in fresh water by the independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS). The new and existing international certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria verify that Lenzing’s Viscose fibers, Modal fibers and Lyocell fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments: in soil, compost as well as in fresh and marine water.
The fact that synthetic materials are not biodegradable leads to major problems in wastewater treatment plants and potentially marine litter. In turn, this not only harms fish and birds living in and close to the oceans but also all marine organisms and humans. That is why Lenzing tested the biodegradability of its woodbased cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp according to valid international standards, for example ISO 14851.
“The Lenzing Group operates a truly circular business model based on the renewable raw material wood to produce biodegradable fibers returning to nature after use. This complete cycle comprises the starting point of the core value of sustainability embedded in our company strategy sCore TEN and is the ‘raison d’etre’ of our company,” commented Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group, in a press release on Friday. “In living up to this positioning, we not only enhance the business of our suppliers, customers and partners along the value chain but also improve the state of the entire textile and nonwovens industries.”
“Both the textile and nonwovens industries face huge challenges with respect to littering. If current trends continue, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Therefore, legislative bodies worldwide can no longer ignore the issue and have moved towards plastics legislation aimed at limiting the vast amount of waste. In response, European lawmakers issued the Single-Use Plastics Directive currently being transposed into national legislation in the EU member states,” adds Lenzing and points to biodegradable materials like wood-based fibres as best alternatives to single-use plastics because “they fully convert back to nature by definition and thus do not require recycling”.