India: Sparkle, a manufacturer of innovative and sustainable plant-based hygiene products, has partnered with Birla Cellulose, one of world’s largest viscose fibre manufacturer and a key raw material partner for the global textile and nonwoven value chain.
The companies debuted their partnership at INDEX™23, Geneva, Switzerland. Globally, around 300 billion period products are used and discarded every year, resulting in millions of tons of waste getting accumulated in landfills. In India alone, around 15 billion used sanitary pads end up in landfills every year. Since conventional sanitary pads contain a large amount of non-biodegradable layers, they continue to choke the landfills for upto 600 years.
The new breakthrough innovation from Sparkle, creates pads using biodegradable and compostable ingredients, which makes them commercially compostable according to European regulations (EN 13432). The pads are capable of breaking down into organic matter in around 4-6 months under industrial composting conditions, and going back to nature without leaving any toxic residue. The pads comprise of cellulose-based top sheet made using Birla PurocelTM fibres, cellulose-based absorbent core, home compostable back film, and a wrapper. The cellulose-based raw material core breaks down into organic matter and returns to the soil when composted in a backyard home compost bin. The Sparkle pad is designed in such a way that whether it ends up in a landfill, or in an incinerator, or in a compost pit, it offers a more sustainable alternative when counterpart.
Chirag Virani, Co-Founder and CEO at Sparkle, says: “Launching this collaboration with a trusted partner such as Birla Cellulose, is a huge milestone in our journey to create sustainable and high-performing hygiene solutions that are also affordable.”
Manmohan Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Birla Cellulose says: “We have been working on this innovation, understanding the need for biodegradable and compostable single use products like sanitary pads, to address the plastic waste challenge. Our cutting-edge Birla PurocelTM fibres are being constantly tested for use in wide-ranging applications and we are extremely proud to partner with Sparkle in this initiative”.
H. K. Agarwal, Managing Director of Grasim Industries Limited and the Business Director of the group’s Global Pulp & Fibre Business, says: “Collaborating with Sparkle was a natural decision – we feel that our values and mission aligns with theirs, as both companies believe that the need of the hour is to encourage the shift towards plastic-free options. We feel that this partnership could have a significant impact on the absorbent hygiene industry and could encourage more brands to shift towards plastic-free alternatives.”
Virani concludes: “Conventional sanitary pads are typically designed with low cost and high performance in mind, but they are not designed to keep sustainability or the product’s end-of-life scenario in mind; this is a big environmental problem we must address. Effective collaboration is paramount when it comes to harnessing influence in the market, particularly in this difficult economic and environmental landscape. As consumer expectations and regulatory requirements continue to evolve rapidly, collaborative product innovation has become essential. In order to keep up with these changes, we have adopted a collaborative approach for our innovations, which allows us to speed up the development and scaling process.”