Monday, July 20, 2015

Water soluble film gets a bitter taste as P&G brings measures to reduce risk of child detergent poisoning to North American market

Procter & Gamble is aiming to reduce the number of incidences of child detergent poisoning by adding a bitter taste to the outside layer of its laundry packets. The move comes following the introduction in June of European Commission rules which require "an adverse agent" that "elicits oral repulsive behavior in case of accidental oral exposure" to be added to laundry detergents.

Although the United States has no such rules in place for the time being, P&G has announced that it will be bringing those European standards to North America this autumn. Infants can be attracted to single-dose packets of detergent, which can lead to adverse effects upon ingestion.

Many industry watchers are aware of the emphatic shift towards unit-dose packaging for detergents. Since the first such products were launched in Europe by FMCG companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble, consumers have embraced detergents delivered in water-soluble film packs, which now account for around 10 per cent of overall sales in United States, and up to 30 per cent in some European markets.

Industry analyts expect that the water soluble polyvinyl alcohol film (PVOH, sometimes also referred to as PVA) market is on track to be worth around $404.8 Million in next five years, growing at an average annual rate of 5.2 per cent.

Unit-dose detergents have already captured nearly 12 per cent of the North American fabric care detergent market, estimated to be worth around $7 billion. Industry projections indicate that this share may rise to as much as 18 per cent in the near future.

Stringent environment protection regulations in the European Union and North America continue to be key drivers for growth of water soluble film demand. The increasing awareness among consumers for the use of bio-degradable materials will potentially boost the use of water soluble film even further.

Detergent packaging is one of the largest applications of water soluble film market and is expected to continue domination in the near future. North America has the largest demand for detergent packaging and accounted for a share of around 32% of the total market. Europe is the second-largest market for detergent packaging.

PVOH refers to a water-soluble synthetic polymer with highly advantageous film-forming, adhesive properties and emulsifying properties. Today, the key markets for water soluble film can be found in Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom and United States, with the latter two accounting for most of the demand.

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