Asahi Kasei, a diversified Japanese multinational company, announces the launch of Bemliese™, its proprietary ultra-sustainable continuous-filament cellulosic nonwoven fabric, in North America via its trading arm in the US, Asahi Kasei Advance America. As the need for sustainable resources to reduce the overall carbon footprint in the product lifecycle grows greater throughout the world, Bemliese™ will resonate with organizations seeking to bolster CSR initiatives through its organic, fast-acting biodegradable and compostable material that can be utilized for a diverse array of disposable goods and applications.
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Bemliese™ is a nonwoven fabric sheet that has been certified for industrial compost, home compost, soil biodegradability, and marine biodegradability by TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium NV. (Photo: Business Wire)
Bemliese™ is a nonwoven fabric sheet made from cotton linter – tiny hair-like fibers 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% of the total yield. This fabric made from cotton linter has since been certified*1 for industrial compost, home compost, soil biodegradability, and marine biodegradability by TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium NV, the globally recognized organization that certifies product biodegradation. TÜV is the only organization that offers the marine biodegradability certification, thus Bemliese™ has been proven friendly both on land and at sea. Refer to Figure 1 in the attached image for the rate of biodegradability.
Dry vs Wet
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 (Figure 2). It also has a higher rate of absorbency than cotton gauze, rayon/PET, or nonwoven cotton.
On the other hand, 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 sterilization. When soaked, it can grip the surface of an object tightly and hold the material in place while it dries (Figure 3). 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 unrivaled 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% natural source, clean production, and fast biodegradability that has resonated in the industry where consumers have begun abandoning their usual products in favor 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 utilized 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% biodegradable within four weeks, we look forward to new innovations that will stem from its introduction to the US market.”
*1 TÜV AUSTRIA Group is a leading independent Testing, Inspection and Certification company covering industry, energy, infrastructure, transportation, certification, training and digital services with +2,000 experts in +20 countries. Bemliese™ has obtained “OK compost INDUSTRIAL,” “OK compost HOME,” “OK biodegradable SOIL,” and “OK biodegradable MARINE” international certifications.
About Asahi Kasei Advance America
Asahi Kasei Advance is a consolidated organization established to support the Asahi Kasei Group with driving business operations globally as a “sales frontline.” The US hub aims to provide high quality services to clients and stakeholders in North America, with a primary focus on delivering premium sustainable and traditional nonwovens to the health & beauty, medical, agribusiness, filtration, food packaging, home goods, and industrial markets. Asahi Kasei Advance America proactively strives to increase turnover of environmentally friendly products internationally and contribute to human life and human livelihood through constant innovation and advances based in science and the human intellect.
About Asahi Kasei
The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to life and living for people around the world. Since its foundation in 1922 with ammonia and cellulose fiber businesses, Asahi Kasei has consistently grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio to meet the evolving needs of every age. With more than 40,000 employees around the world, the company contributes to a sustainable society by providing solutions to the world's challenges through its three business sectors of Material, Homes, and Health Care. For more information, visit www.asahi-kasei.com.