A lot of diseases spread via bodily fluids and excretions, including some really nasty ones, such as cholera, bacillary dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis A and E, E. coli, amoebiasis, toxoplasmosis, and tapeworms. This is why the focus on personal hygiene is rising around the world, which is driving the sale of diapers, feminine hygiene pads, and toddler training pants. Moreover, the awareness campaigns being run by international agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and national governments are propelling the sale of such products.
As a result, according to P&S Intelligence, the spunbond nonwovens market value, which was $11,040.1 million in 2017, is set to witness an 8.1% CAGR between 2018 and 2023, to reach $17,651.9 million by 2023. This is because such materials are widely used in the production of hygiene pads, diapers, and wipes. Therefore, with the focus on hygiene and general cleanliness having grown manifold during the ongoing pandemic, spunbond nonwoven sales have risen as well. The greatest impact of the sale of such materials in this regard has been perhaps due to the hoarding madness surrounding face masks, which have been widely accepted as being essential for stopping infection transmission.
All these kinds of products can be made disposable and non-disposable, of which spunbond nonwovens have been used in higher volumes for disposable products. This is because of the surging awareness regarding the transmission of pathogens from one person to another. This is a grave problem even in healthcare settings, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying that in the U.S., “On any given day, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection”. Therefore, healthcare settings are subjected to rather stringent infection control guidelines, which include the mandatory usage of disposable surgical gowns and face masks.
Hence, with the growing demand for such medical and hygiene supplies, fabric manufacturers are engaging in extensive research and development (R&D) to come up with better spunbond nonwoven materials. For instance, durable hydrophilic nonwovens under the Ingeo brand were launched by NatureWorks LLC in 2017. This material exhibits better fluid management, breathability, and durability, due to which it is ideal for diapers, feminine hygiene products, and adult incontinence products. With such novel materials, the price of such essential hygiene products could come down, thereby improving their accessibility for the masses.
Moreover, companies are expanding their production capacity to cater to the rising demand for spunbond nonwovens. For instance, Toray Advanced Materials Korea announced in 2017 that it will pump $103 million for producing polypropylene (PP) spunbond nonwoven materials at its Saemangeum Industrial Complex. The same year, plans for a 5,000-tonne increase in the production of this material were announced by Don & Low Ltd. for its plants in the U.K. Such announcements are being made because of the growing construction and medical sectors and rising disposable income of people, which are driving the demand for these materials.
Asia-Pacific was the largest spunbond nonwovens market in the past, and it will continue being so in the years to come. The region is already the largest producer of PP, polyester, polyethylene, and polyurethane, which are the key raw materials for spunbond nonwovens. This leads to cost-effectiveness for the producers of these materials, which further makes the end products cheap for the masses. Additionally, the huge customer base in APAC leads to the high sales of the end products.
Hence, with the rising awareness on personal hygiene, the demand for spunbond nonwovens is booming.