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Japanese MNC Asahi Kasei introduces Bemliese in North America

Jul '21
Pic: Business Wire
Pic: Business Wire
Asahi Kasei has introduced Bemliese, its proprietary ultra-sustainable continuous-filament cellulosic nonwoven fabric, in North America via its trading arm in the US, Asahi Kasei Advance America. Bemliese is a nonwoven fabric sheet made from cotton linter – tiny hair-like fibres on cotton seeds. So far, linter has been seen as a pre-consumer waste biproduct.

As the need for sustainable resources to reduce the overall carbon footprint in the product lifecycle grows greater throughout the world, Bemliese is expected to be preferred by organisations seeking to bolster CSR initiatives through organic, fast-acting biodegradable and compostable material that can be utilised for a diverse array of disposable goods and applications.

Bemliese is a nonwoven fabric sheet made from cotton linter – tiny hair-like fibres on cotton seeds. Through science, Asahi Kasei is the only company in the world that has developed a clean proprietary process for treating this linter to produce sheets that can be integrated in a diverse array of product designs. Prior to Asahi Kasei’s innovation in this realm, linter was a pre-consumer waste biproduct of the traditional cotton harvesting process, and now has been converted to roughly 3 per cent of the total yield. This fabric made from cotton linter has since been certified for industrial compost, home compost, soil biodegradability, and marine biodegradability by TÜV Austria Belgium NV, the globally recognised organisation that certifies product biodegradation. TÜV is the only organisation that offers the marine biodegradability certification, thus Bemliese has been proven friendly both on land and at sea.

When dry, Bemliese leaves virtually no lint, scratches, or chemicals on the surfaces it touches, making it an ideal material for cleaning equipment in industrial, laboratory, or medical environments that must remain contamination-free. Its high purity keeps the material free from excess oils or chemicals that may be inherent in similar materials. It also has a higher rate of absorbency than cotton gauze, rayon/PET, or nonwoven cotton.

Unlike cotton, a sheet of Bemliese becomes extraordinarily soft after moistening and drapes well over any surface it touches with little to no abrasion. Its extraordinary absorption of moisture and ability to hold onto tiny particles makes it an ideal material for hygienic applications or medical sterilisation. When soaked, it can grip the surface of an object tightly and hold the material in place while it dries. The reclaimed cellulose filament structure created by using cotton linter as a material provides a much higher level of liquid retention than regular cotton.

Cosmetic facial masks made from Bemliese have made waves in sustainable beauty throughout Asia, attracting world-class cosmetics developers like L’Oréal and KOSÉ Group with its unrivalled absorbency and performance. These face sheets made from cotton linter absorb and hold formulas that rejuvenate skin far more efficiently and stick to every contour of the face from the moment it touches the skin and stays in place. This allows for the even application of formula to the skin, yielding superior results. In addition, unlike traditional face sheets that commonly contain plastics, those made from cotton linter tout a 100 per cent natural source, clean production, and fast biodegradability that has resonated in the industry where consumers have begun abandoning their usual products in favour of those that are more environmentally friendly.

“We are excited by the success and reception of Bemliese in Asia for its diverse applications and sustainability,” said Chad Provonsha, sales and marketing director of Asahi Kasei Advance America. “This biodegradable fabric has been highlighted in sheet masks and cosmetic wipes, but Bemliese goes beyond sustainable beauty and can be utilised in every industry including agriculture, landscaping, and household goods. Its application possibilities are endless and because it is a one-of-a-kind material that not only shows superior performance, but also is virtually 100 per cent biodegradable within four weeks, we look forward to new innovations that will stem from its introduction to the US market.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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