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Story of the year: disposability.

Story of the Year: Disposability

For the first time since we have been doing such things, our Story of the Year this year stands a very good chance of also being the Story of the Year next year and, in fact, for a number of years to come. It appears as if this particular story may repeat once or twice again before the issue is resolved.

What we are talking about is the whole issue of Disposing of Disposables, an obvious choice as 1989 Story of the Year in the nonwovens industry. Never in recent memory has an issue so dominated day-to-day operations as well as long term planning at every company from fiber suppliers to roll goods producers to end product converters.

It certainly dominated much of our efforts at Nonwovens Industry. We undertook an ambitious three-part series on Disposing of the Disposables this fall that took an indepth look at the problem as it pertains to the nonwovens and disposables business. Associate editor Ellen Noonan explored what many of the leaders such as Procter & Gamble and Dow Chemical are doing about disposability and then offered the insights of an array of experts on where the industry must go from here.

The issue also dominated efforts at INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, which received much well deserved praise for the foresight to first establish a Disposability Committee and then hold perhaps its most well received conference ever in Washington, DC in September. That INDA Conference on Disposing of Disposables was so valuable because the industry remains woefully uneducated (though certainly not uninterested) even about an issue that may spell life or death to a great number of its members. A similar conference is already scheduled for late next year as well.

Whether it is because of the financial stakes involved or because of well-intentioned corporate mandates, the nonwovens and disposables industries deserve praise as well for the energy they have expended on disposability. Although some companies - both in and out of the nonwovens scope of businesses - have succumbed to the temptation of using environmental concerns to their marketing advantage, most have remained responsible and alert enough to focus on problems and solutions that go beyond immediate sales gains.

Disposability remains a problem and it remains an opportunity for the nonwovens and disposables industries to answer the environmental and marketing challenges of the 1990's. Whether we do or not will be seen some time in the next decade, because this is one Story of the Year that cannot simply be thrown away.
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Author:Jacobsen, Michael A.
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:editorial
Date:Dec 1, 1989
Previous Article:U.S. census report offers details on mid-decade growth of nonwovens business.
Next Article:1989 - the year that was: from Accurate Products to Wellman Industries, the past 12 months generated enough nonwovens news to fill a book, or at...

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