INDA's World of Wipes conference attracts 475 wipes participants

July 20, 2021 - United States Of America

INDA, the association of nonwoven fabrics industry, has wrapped up its 15th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference, held from July 12-15. The in-person event was attended by 475 enthusiastic professionals from 14 countries, recording the highest attendance in six years. The World of Wipes Innovation Award was presented to Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Held in Atlanta, GA, the conference was notable as the first in-person conference in the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry in 500 days due to the pandemic, according to the association.
“The enthusiasm emanating from the WOW conference confirms the industry’s desire to return to person-to-person contact and experience high-quality programme content. We are pleased to deliver both—as critical face-to-face interactions and informed discussion of key issues are the core of meaningful business,” Dave Rousse, INDA president, said in a press release.
Industry professionals from 33 global companies delivered presentations and answered questions in sessions that included wipes and the growing plastics debate, regulatory requirements for disinfecting and sanitising wipes, trends in the wipes markets and among consumers, wet wipe preservative innovations, Covid-19 impacts on wipes consumption and cleaning habits, sustainable wipes packaging and dispensing, nonwoven substrates for more sustainable wipes, and flushable wipes: loved by consumers, wrongly accused by utilities.
“Highlights included the announcement of Kimberly-Clark Scott 24-Hour sanitising wipes as the winner of this year’s World of Wipes Innovation Award,” the nonwovens association further added. “The annual award recognises the product that most expands the use of nonwovens and demonstrates creativity, novelty, uniqueness, and technical sophistication within the entire nonwovens wipes value chain.”
Other highlights included the presentation of the 2021 INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award to John Poccia. The annual award is nominated by INDA’s technical advisory board and presented to an individual whose technical achievements over a long-standing career have significantly contributed to the technical advancement, success, and growth of the nonwovens industry.  
“Poccia is a stellar technical professional and contributor to our industry. His 40-plus year technical career includes a broad range of advancements in material science synthesising superabsorbent polymers, and end-products of feminine hygiene, wipes, wound management and skincare at Johnson & Johnson company. His efforts have advanced the nonwovens industry and INDA,” Rousse said.
Other presentation highlights included: recent developments under the EU Green Deal and Plastics Strategy – pandemic update – Gyongyi David, Attorney at Law, V V G B Advocaten-Avocats, Director- EHS Regulatory, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; FDA & EPA framework of regulations: Dry Wipes Claims – Tony Herber, principal regulatory consultant/assistant federal team manager, Scientific & Regulatory Consultants, Inc (SRC Inc); consumer wipes usage during Covid-19 and future use – Chris Dresselhuys, Business Director-North American Retail Wipes, Rockline Industries; sustainable solutions for wipes – Vishal Bansai, vice president, innovation, and Silke Brand-Kirsch, VP, marketing and business development, Glatfelter Gernsbach GmbH; sustainability impacts across the value chain of wipes packaging – Vicky Chang, marketing manager, consumer & industrial products, Amcor Flexibles; and, unveiling wet wipes preservation: new findings on microbial risks and preservative solution – Paul Salama, PhD, CTO & head of innovation, Sharon Laboratories.
The event also featured a unique 1.5-day WIPES Academy training course for professionals desiring to learn more about the wipes market and manufacturing processes. The WIPES Academy is the only comprehensive wipes training for the entire wipes supply chain and was led by Chris Plotz, INDA’s director of education and technical affairs.