Speaker Interview - Jason Finnis

Bast Fibre use in wiping applications: opportunities and challenges

1. You are going to be speaking about hemp fibre use in wipes, what part do you feel this plays in the future of plastic-free wipes?

Interest in alternative natural fibres from the nonwoven industry is increasing at a very fast rate. Consumers, brands, and legislators are pushing hard to remove plastic from single-use products. Hemp and other bast fibres are ideally suited to play a significant role in this transition and marry performance and sustainability in an all-natural, plastic-free, and tree-free fibre.

2. What is your biggest driver as a business today?

Sustainability is certainly our largest driver. The Single-Use Plastic Directive (SUPD) in the EU has accelerated the demand for natural, sustainable fibres, but consumers have been looking for plastic free options for some time.

3. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the wipes and nonwovens industry in the coming 2-5 years?

Promoting any single-use item as a sustainable choice when a reusable option is available will become more and more difficult. However, by using an agricultural by-product like hemp fibre, we can turn an underutilized fibre into a valuable product that easily composts at the end of its useful life.

4. What do you see as some of the most interesting innovations in the market now?

In addition to the growing use of natural fibres in nonwoven products, the increasing focus on sustainability in all areas of the industry is exciting to see. In every show we attend, sustainable innovations are being highlighted and BFT is pleased to be part of this global mega-trend!

5. What are you most looking forward to at the event?

I’m looking forward to my presentation and highlighting the immediate commercial potential of our fibres. Product launches around the world confirm that bast fibres are available and ready to become the leading sustainable option to plastic-based fibres.