Warm beige – the new white for hygiene products

Although many of us use products containing fluff pulp, some of us daily, it is one of those materials which is surprisingly unknown to the wider group of consumers. Fluff pulp is a type of wood pulp typically used in absorption cores of baby diapers, sanitary pads, incontinence products and various forms of air-laid nonwoven products. Not many consumers know what fluff pulp is, and that it in many cases is the only natural raw material in a typical disposable hygiene product.

Even if a single absorbent hygiene product only contains a few grams of fluff pulp, the massive number of products consumed every day make that global fluff pulp market big. In 2023 it is projected to reach over 7 million tons globally (Global Fluff Pulp Consumption, projection according to Smithers).

In today’s world, we are in a position where we need to transform from fossil-based materials to renewable solutions. We must reduce carbon emissions and design for sustainable consumption. In some respects, this is a huge challenge. But there are also solutions out there which we could start utilizing already now. Using NaturaFluff Eco by Stora Enso instead of regular bleached fluff pulp is an example of such a solution.

We describe NaturaFluff Eco as an oxygen delignified fluff pulp. This means that it is not bleached, only treated with oxygen to remove the remaining lignin after the cooking of the pulp. By not bleaching the fluff pulp we save approximately 80 kgs of bleaching chemicals per airdried tonne of fluff pulp. This corresponds to a saving of the carbon footprint by more than 30% compared to bleached fluff pulp.

Lignin is a component in the wood which is not wanted in fluff pulp as it impacts the absorption properties. All traces of lignin are removed during chemical bleaching. During the innovation project to develop NaturaFluff Eco we realized that by carefully monitoring the production process we can in fact produce a fluff pulp without any bleaching chemicals keeping the same performance properties.

NaturaFuff Eco fulfills the requirements of common Eco labels such as EU Eco Label, Nordic Swan, Blue Angel and Asthma Allergy Nordic. The only difference between NaturaFluff Eco and traditional fluff pulp is the lower carbon footprint and the colour.Elementary Chlorine Free (ECF) bleached fluff pulp by Stora Enso has an ISO brightness of 87. NaturaFluff Eco has an ISO brightness of 46. This results in a warm beige colour.
more at: https://www.storaenso.com/en/newsroom/news/2023/5/warm-beige—the-new-white-for-hygiene-products

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