Julius’ story is an interesting one. More than 50 years ago, his father, a chemist, saw a prototype for a wiping material and immediately thought it would make a great delivery system for his cosmetics products. The problem was, he didn’t know where to get more so he bought a used production line from Lipton Soup Company and spent about three years reconfiguring it to make wipes. The rest is history.
A half of a century after Robert Julius’ father had his vision of a new delivery system for cosmetics, wipes have touched more consumer and industrial categories to count. In his acceptance speech at IDEA, Julius remarked that the wipes market has grown far beyond his father’s vision and he credited his partners in the nonwovens industry with this expansion.
The growth of the global wipes market has been well documented in the pages of this magazine over the last two decades. The rate of new product developments and technology improvements has not slowed even as the category has become of one of the largest for nonwovens globally.
Hand in hand with new developments in wipes is the spunlace market. While makers of spunlace nonwovens are constantly looking for new applications areas for growth, they continue to focus on the global wipes market for the highest volumes and best opportunities for new product development. (For more on spunlace, turn to page 28.)
As wipes and nonwovens continue to grow, Julius, a clear pioneer, in our industry urged his fellow professionals to focus on responsibility and consumer education as we move forward, recognizing that in many ways wipes have been viewed as the bad guy. Consumer education on how to use wipes and how to dispose of them is key to the future of the industry, he warned.
Let’s hope the industry takes the knowledge that comes with his experience to heart and continues to focus on getting the message out on disposability.
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