Lenzing Group’s fibers have been certified for full biodegradability in fresh water by independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS).
Certification testing by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria verified that Lenzing viscose, modal and lyocell fibers were biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments–soil, compost, and fresh and marine water.
The biodegradability of cellulosic products and polyester were tested in fresh water at OWS, according to international standards. At the end of the trial period, Lenzing wood-based cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp were shown to be fully biodegradable in fresh water in contrast to polyester fibers.
Lenzing said the finding that synthetic materials are not biodegradable leads to major problems in wastewater treatment plants and potentially marine litter. In turn, this harms fish and birds living in and close to the oceans, as well as marine organisms and humans.
“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,” Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group, said. “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. 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.”
Lenzing noted that conventional wet wipes and hygiene products mostly contain plastic and were identified as one of the product categories to be singled out. Less polluting alternatives, like its Veocel fibers have become essential in the market for nonwovens. Their properties for liquid absorption have resulted in market penetration for personal care and baby care products, and wet and dry wipes.