How do you see the performance of man-made fiber industry in to the global ring with the efficient usage of renewable sources?
Man-made fibers are not deriving from renewable sources, except probably cellulosic fibers. All the others (polyamide, polyester, polypropylene etc.) derive from the crude oil. There are only few cases where companies are trying to use “natural resources” (such as corn,) to produce bio-polymers. But we are talking about very limited experiences and very low quantities.
Today any life cycle analysis (LCA) was conducted to understand the real environmental impact of such bio-polymers. It is theoretically possible to develop fibers from renewable sources, but we need to understand all the positive and negative related issues like how much arable lands we need, how much water is used, the pesticide involved, etc.
Regarding the man-made fiber industry performance, I can say that the Asian companies perform better than the European ones and this should be grateful to the larger dimension of the market which is growing faster with more profits
Please tell us future trends in the man-made fiber industry?
Sustainability is not only a concept but is also a new way to do our business as well as the development of recycled products is a key issue included in the paradigm.
My company, for instance already invested a huge amount of money to implement a plant that allows the recycling of polyamide six post consumers and post industrial waste transforming it in the raw material. Also other European companies are acting in this direction. I’m strongly convinced that sustainability means also profitability.
There is an intense global competition in man-made fibre sector. How is it affecting the European industry as it is a major exporter?
Europe is not anymore an exporting country as it used to be some years ago, especially for specific consumption goods which are more imported than exported.
On the other hand the productions realised in Europe are so specific and related to niche markets that are naturally protected from foreign competitors. In this framework it is important to try to propose our special and unique products abroad.
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