Brands and countries

For Episode 46, we're sharing episodes from two other podcasts from Bostik, Transition(s) and Bostik Talks. In the episode you'll here the perspectives on sustainability in the absorbent hygiene industry from both an article producer and a raw material supplier to producers.

It’s no secret that sustainability is a matter of growing importance in the absorbent hygiene industry. Even so, there are many perspectives to consider. That’s why Bostik has created a pair of podcasts specifically on the topic. ‘Transition(s)’ features outside perspectives on various markets that we serve. ‘Bostik Talks’ shares related, insider information on what Bostik is doing. In this episode of ‘Attached to Hygiene’, host Jack Hughes brings you one of each!
The episode starts with ‘Transition(s)’ Episode 13, which features Susie Hewson, founder and CEO of period care company Natracare. Following that, Jack was invited to ‘Bostik Talks’ to reveal what Bostik’s hygiene division is doing to advance sustainability in the period care, baby care, and adult incontinence markets.

‘Transition(s)’ With Natracare’s Susie Hewson

A long-time voice in both period care and sustainability, Susie started as a self-described campaigner. She fought for changes in the menstrual health industry that would challenge the status quo. Then, in 1989 she turned her passion—to make period care products safer and more sustainable with bio-sourced absorbent articles—into a company. Natracare was born.
Times were notably different when she started her company—no internet or email … only even fax machines and phone calls. Since then, she has seen an increasing value placed on human rights and transparency in the industry. Change doesn’t generally happen overnight, she points out, but often the dreams of today become the realities of tomorrow. She pushed forward to normalise a sustainable approach in the industry.
Susie sees recycling absorbent hygiene articles as impractical for many reasons. Instead, she believes the focus needs to be on making as many products as possible compostable. In her view, adhesives present the biggest challenge. Also, she notes, there is often confusion among consumers about what is green and what isn’t. For example, many consumers buying products made from plant-based materials assume this impacts their end-of-life outcomes. In truth, the same ingredient behaves the same way, whether made from bio-material or petroleum. Many are also unsure about the difference between degradable, biodegradable, and compostable. Ultimately, Susie points out, sustainability is multi-faceted and includes sourcing, the market, and financials.

‘Bostik Talks’ With Jack Hughes

As the digital marketing manager for Bostik’s Hygiene Business, Jack is well-versed in sustainability trends in the absorbent hygiene industry. He also sees how Bostik is responding to the need for better end-of-life options and bio-sourced products.
Through our Responsibly for Hygiene programme, Bostik offers not only education but options and solutions as well. We have launched three sustainably sourced adhesives in our Nuplaviva™ series. Jack shares that while a compostable adhesive is definitely something the industry is working on, there are some significant obstacles to be overcome. These include limited materials and facilities for composting, and a lack of agreement on the best end-of-life solutions. It’s a bit of a quandary. Producers are often reluctant to make the switch to compostable articles due to the uncertainty of consumer demand. Consumers are waiting for the prices to become more competitive—which can’t happen until supply and demand increase. Even so, Jack is seeing signs the industry is making moves toward sustainability and circularity.


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Outline of the Episode

‘Transition(s)’ with Susie Hewson

  • [2:30] Introduction of Natracare CEO and founder Susie Hewson
  • [3:30] How Susie’s passion for the environment inspired her to launch Natracare
  • [5:03] The market’s increased emphasis on human rights and transparency
  • [7:04] The regulatory environment is evolving into a more circular economy approach
  • [7:30] Environmental and personal health go hand in hand
  • [8:15] Recycling is not feasible, but products can be compostable
  • [9:02] Bio-based trend accelerating, but consumer confusion remains
  • [10:38] The biggest challenge is the adhesive
  • [11:05] Good eco-design should not be impeded by cost to consumer
  • [13:17] Industry’s role: We went through the industrial revolution; now we’re in the green revolution

‘Bostik Talks’ with Jack Hughes

  • [14:59] Intro of Jack and Bostik’s sustainability initiatives through the Responsibly for Hygiene programme
  • [15:47] Three bio-sourced adhesives launched as part of Nuplaviva™ series
  • [16:46] The adhesive supplier is working to support the transparency goals of producers
  • 17:30] The industry’s three main challenges in becoming more sustainable
  • [19:42] Confident Bostik will be able to adapt and grow with industry

Follow Natracare on LinkedIn.

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You can email us with questions, comments, or ideas for future episodes at [email protected].

Host: Jack Hughes

Music by Jonathan Boyle

Produced and edited by: Jack Hughes with help from Paul Andrews, Michele Tonkovitz, Emory Churness, Nikki Ackerman, and Green Onion Creative.

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