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This forum creates a platform for an in-depth engagement with stakeholders on challenges and opportunities in the pursuit of a circular economy for nonwovens.

NOTE: The platform and all conference content will remain accessible to stream for attendees for a further 4 weeks (until 1st November). Registration will remain open for those who would like to access the conference and network with participants. To register please click on REGISTER HERE and complete the form. 

Circular economy is on everyone’s agenda.

NGOs, companies across all sectors and throughout the value chains, European regulators and legislators alike strive for a shift towards a circular economy. The new Circular Nonwovens Forum is dedicated to addressing challenges and collectively finding opportunities in order to accelerate this transition. 

Join us and participate in this unique and interactive Forum to:

  • Hear from experts on the latest technologies and trends
  • Exchange views and ideas on issues and solutions
  • Inspire and get inspired in round table discussions
  • Identify topics for future cooperation on common initiatives 

Day 1
30 September 2021
08.45 - 09.25
Welcome coffee
09.25 - 09.30
Opening & Welcome
Pierre Wiertz General Manager EDANA
Moderator - Gil Stevens External Relations & Sustainability Director EDANA
09.30 - 10.00
Certification of biodegradable and biobased nonwovens, the role of a certification body
  • Biodegradable, compostable, bio-based;  what it is and what it is not
  • Third party certification improves the credibility and visibility of claims, but not only that. What are the added values of certification?
  • Are all (nonwoven) products certifiable ?
Philippe Dewolfs Business Manager TÜV Austria
10.00 - 10.30
Innovative Polyvinyl alcohol for melt spun fibres and spunmelt nonwovens, offering high functionality and versatile end of life options
  • Aquapak technology allows high hydrolysis, water-soluble, polyvinyl alcohol fibres to be processed via melt spinning, without polymer modification, maintaining full polymer functionality and end of life biodegradation
  • Staple fibres can be used as functional fibres or in combination with others, such as biopolymers and cellulosics, with high affinity and synergistic effects. The fibres also enable reuse/ recycling, anaerobic digestion and marine biodegradation
  • Functional properties include high mechanical strength, liquid management, UV resistance and flushability
Jack Eaton Product Manager Nonwovens Aquapak Polymers
10.30 - 11.00
Innovations to help wipes & absorbent hygiene products meet Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) Guidelines
  • Immediate impact on nonwoven value chain due to SUPD
  • Wipes & absorbent hygiene products – Quick actions needed from nonwoven value chain to meet SUPD guidelines basis the labeling requirements by using available alternatives in terms of sustainable materials & compatible nonwoven technologies
  • Key innovations tailor-made to help wipes & absorbent hygiene products meet SUPD guidelines
Rahul Bansal AVP Global Business Development Head – Nonwoven Birla Cellulose
11.00 - 11.30
11.30 - 12.00
Circular economy: sustainable concepts in the viscose fibre production for nonwovens
  • Operating production processes energy-efficient and with closed cycles
  • Sustainable and biocompatible solutions for single-use products
  • Functionalisation of fibres for customer-specific innovation, towards sustainable solutions in final applications
  • Alternative, recycled raw materials
  • Traceability of sustainable solutions
Dr. Roland Scholz Project Manager Fibre and Application Development Kelheim Fibres
12.00 - 12.30
Circularity in nonwovens through PLA
  • Polylactic acid (PLA) in non-woven (benefits, properties, comparison PET,PP…)
  • Chemical recycling technology
  • Application in nonwovens
Julien Diaz Product Manager Noosa Fibre
12.30 - 13.00
Development of ultraviolet curing technology for textile and film based surfaces
  • Developed in aim of printing inks on the textile and film surfaces
  • Eliminates the hazardous chemicals used in conventional bonding systems as well as doubling the production rates
  • Noteworthily reduces the fossil based natural gas consumption, decreases the carbon dioxide gas emissions and makes positive contributions toward the global warming and climate change
Atakan Gümü R&D Assistant Specialist HASSAN Tekstil
13.00 - 14.30
14.30 - 15.00
Marine biodegradation: latest developments on test methods, standardisation, certification and legislation
  • The plastic soup problem: how big is it and what are the main reasons for it?
  • What can biodegradability bring as a solution? Marine biodegradability testing and standardisation: latest developments and new insights
  • Is marine biodegradability different from terrestrial biodegradability?
Bruno De Wilde Lab Manager OWS
15.00 - 15.30
Enhancing recycling and reuse of post-consumer AHP
  • Negative impact of multi-material composition and impurities of the diaper plastic waste
  • Stream on the PCR properties, and the quality obtained is suitable only for reuse in less demanding applications 
  • New developments to accelerate the inclusion of AHP waste streams in mechanical recycling and unveil opportunities for AHP through mono-material, easy-to-recycle technologies that combine PCR with virgin material and the use of impact modifiers to significantly improve the quality of PCR
  • How this stream of PCR can be a valuable source to produce circular polymers using feedstock recycling, helping advance a closed loop system for plastic waste
Natacha Bitinis Technical leader Nonwovens and Fibers EMEA Dow
Abby Turner Marketing Director Health and Hygiene Dow
15.30 - 16.00
Enabling diaper recycling in Flanders
  • Flanders has the ambition to become fully circular by 2050. This means that the Flemish economy focuses on keeping materials in use instead of incineration or landfilling
  • To achieve this goal of becoming fully circular, immediate action is required on multiple product groups. A key product group are the absorbent hygiene products (AHP) constituting 12% of household waste
  • Currently, 65.000 tonnes of AHP are incinerated every year in Flanders, contributing to global warming and the loss of valuable materials
Wouter Dujardin Project Leader OVAM
16.00 - 16.30
Discoveries around nonwovens utilised and developed around new generation mask
Volodymyr Nesin Research and Innovation Director Pentatonic
16.30 - 16.40
Nonwovens You Say?

Nonwovens, you say? is an exciting campaign by EDANA that puts the spotlight on the many benefits of nonwovens. In 10 minutes, get to know the campaign and learn how your company can contribute! 

Natacha Defeche Marketing & Member Engagement Director EDANA
Sean Kerrigan Director of Communications & Media Relations EDANA (Belgium)
16.40 - 17.30
Rahul Bansal
AVP Global Business Development Head – Nonwoven
Birla Cellulose

Rahul Bansal is ‘AVP, Global Business Development Head’ for Nonwoven business – Birla Cellulose (part of Aditya Birla Group, India).

Rahul has more than 24 years of experience in sales, marketing and business development across Nonwoven & Textile industry. He completed his B. Tech with a specialization in Man Made Fibres Technology.

Prior to working on Viscose fibres at Birla, he has handled Spunlace nonwoven and Wet wipe product sales and business development.

Natacha Bitinis
Technical leader Nonwovens and Fibers EMEA

Natacha Bitinis is the EMEA technical leader for the Nonwovens and fibers platform for the Dow Chemical company’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics Division, currently responsible for technology and product development strategy for the EMEA market.

Natacha joined the Dow Chemical Company in 2015 as Technical Service & Development Engineer for Packaging & Specialty Plastics with customer and development responsibility in EMEA covering Flexible, Cosmetic & Rigid Packaging application. She holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Industries Chimiques (France) and a PhD in Polymer Science and Technology from the Spanish National Research Council.

Bruno De Wilde
Lab Manager

Bruno De Wilde is the Laboratory Manager of Organic Waste Systems (OWS) in Ghent, Belgium for whom he has worked for more than 30 years already. In this capacity, he manages biodegradation, composting and digestion tests and consultancy services as well as waste analyses and inspection activities, supervising a team of 85+ people. Bruno De Wilde has authored or co-authored about 30 scientific articles. Besides he is an active participant of several ISO and CEN working groups in this field and each year gives about 10 presentations on this topic at international conferences and company workshops. He also works as an expert on biodegradable plastics for the European Commission.

He took his MSc in Agricultural Engineering at the State University of Ghent in 1983, spent another year in the Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and then worked in an R&D project on making energy from biomass though biogasification in Indonesia for 4 years prior to joining Organic Waste Systems.

Natacha Defeche
Marketing & Member Engagement Director

Natacha Defeche leads EDANA’s Marketing & Member Engagement department, dedicated to further developing and supporting member services.  The department serves as the voice enhancing the visibility of the industry and the association, its members and its activities such as events, training courses and the INDEX™ exhibition.

She graduated with a master’s degree in Political and Social Sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). She has been with EDANA for 4 years. She has worked for the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs as adviser and for BAIN & Company as Marketing and Communication manager.

Natacha is responsible for managing all marketing and member engagement activities at EDANA. She manages several of the association’s Working Groups such as the Support to Nonwovens Innovations and R&D WG, the Nonwovens Producers WG, the Durable SG and any group which has a marketing need for the topics or products dealt with. 

Philippe Dewolfs
Business Manager
TÜV Austria

With an engineering and computer science background, Philippe Dewolfs has always worked in the field of conformity assessment. In the road and rail sector at the beginning of his career, then, since the end of the 1990s, in the certification of bioplastics.

He currently leads the bioplastics certification department in TÜV AUSTRIA, which acquired this activity from Vinçotte at the end of 2017.

TÜV AUSTRIA is a leading certification organisation with more than 5000 active certificates in this field.

He is a member of several national and international working and standardisation groups and is regularly consulted to share his experience.

Julien Diaz
Product Manager
Noosa Fibre

Julien Diaz has a Master in Business Engineering and is Product Manager at NOOSA since 2021. At NOOSA, Julien is responsible for managing every business touchpoints with their product (commercial, sourcing, technical).

Prior to joining NOOSA, Julien was Key account manager at Too Good To Go (2018-2020) and Consultant at ORMIT (2016-2018).

Wouter Dujardin
Project Leader

Education: PhD Polymer Chemistry at KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Prior work: Consultant at McKinsey&Company (2019-2021)

Current work: OVAM, Project leader since 2021


My projects center around guiding Flanders toward a circular economy using policy. I focus on textiles, mainly consumer textiles, diapers and mattresses.

Jack Eaton
Product Manager Nonwovens
Aquapak Polymers

I studied Materials Science and Advanced Textiles & Performance Clothing at the University of Leeds, UK. For my master’s dissertation I studied the performance of 3-dimensional nonwoven fabrics in protective clothing. Since graduating in 2009 I have worked for a product development consultancy specialised in nonwoven fabrics, as well technical sales and business development roles before joining Aquapak in October 2020.

At Aquapak, I am responsible for the development of technical products to produce fibres and nonwoven fabrics. Working in close collaboration with customers, I develop formulations to meet specific needs and support the transfer of tested products into the required production process to produce high performance and sustainable nonwovens.

Atakan Gümü
R&D Assistant Specialist
HASSAN Tekstil

Working as Research & Development Assistant Specialist in HASSAN Tekstil

Graduated from Istanbul Technical University, B.Sc. Chemical Engineering

Accepted for Innovative Technical Textiles masters program in Istanbul Technical University

Volodymyr Nesin
Research and Innovation Director

With nearly 10 years’ experience in delivering projects across a range of industries and continents, Volodymyr (Vova) Nesin is a distinguished scientist who provides the vision behind Pentatonic’s technical and material innovations as Research and Innovation Director.

Vova has an understanding of multiple precision disciplines that was enhanced by his early education; he attended one of the most prestigious science high schools in Ukraine and, after travelling to Taiwan for further studies and extensive commercial project leadership, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the National Chiao Tung University.

  • Bachelor of Science, Electronics Engineering
  • Research and Innovation Director, from December 2020
  • Leading development and construction of sustainable technologies
  • Research and Innovation Manager from Oct. 2019 to Jan 2020
  • Project manager/Lead Engineer, Miniwiz. Jan 2016 to Mar 2019
Dr. Roland Scholz
Project Manager Fibre and Application Development
Kelheim Fibres
  • Educational Background: Graduate chemist, Ph.D. of science
  • Since 2008: Kelheim Fibres GmbH. Project manager fibre and application development. Functionalised Viscose fibres
  • 2000-2008: Fiberweb Corovin GmbH. Project manager. Product and process development. Polypropylene nonwovens
  • 1999-2000: Medinova GmbH. Start-up company. Nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications
  • 1997-1998: Postdoc. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Metal organic chemistry
Moderator - Gil Stevens
External Relations & Sustainability Director

Gil Stevens is the External Relations and Sustainability Director for EDANA, the international Association representing the nonwoven and related industries, a position he has held since March 2018.

With a Master’s Degree in Product Development and in Environmental Science, Gil started his career as product engineer in the building industry. Pursuing his passion for sustainability, Gil joined the Cradle to Cradle Platform in 2012, where he has been guiding companies in different sectors, such as textiles, cleaning agents, building, office equipment towards the integration of C2C and preparing them for a circular economy. As sustainability coach at Sustenuto, Gil supported organisations in developing and implementing a sustainability strategy. At the beverage group Spadel, Gil’s responsibilities included the coordination of local CSR representatives at the various European sites and external CSR communication. During his career, Gil also concluded an Executive MBA programme at the Antwerp Management School.

Gil currently has responsibility for managing sustainability and maintaining external relations for EDANA. He manages several of the association’s Working Groups including the Circular Economy WG, Sustainability WG, Construction WG and the Communication & Advocacy SG. 

Abby Turner
Marketing Director Health and Hygiene

Abby Turner is Dow’s Marketing Director for Health and Hygiene. In this role, she is responsible for the overall marketing strategy and execution of plans for existing and new products within key applications. She drives the innovation and sustainability strategy for the hygiene market working in close partnership within the value chain including machine manufacturers and brand owners.

Abby has spent almost her entire career with Dow. Throughout the years, she has worked in a variety of roles including Customer Operations Leadership and Commercial Excellence Leader for EMEA. She graduated from an HCIMA in Hospitality and Event Management and more recently Marketing Diploma from IMD and the General Management program at INSEAD in France and Singapore.

Pierre Wiertz
General Manager

Pierre Wiertz is General Manager of EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries. 

Pierre, who started at EDANA in 1982 as a Research Associate, has held the position of General Manager since February 2004.  As head of the organisation, he is responsible for the Association’s strategy delivery and operations and has initiated a new business orientation for its activities and membership benefits and given impetus to the geographic expansion and leadership of the Association, as outlined in its Vision and Mission, as well as in its Sustainability Charter.

From 1982 to 2004, Pierre held several other positions within EDANA. He had begun his professional career after graduating in Economics from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1979, where he worked for three years as a researcher in Labour Economics and Demography. He has authored and co-authored various scientific reports and papers on these subjects

Pierre regularly speaks at European and international conferences on topics related to the nonwovens industry trends and sustainability.

Pierre is fluent in both French and English, and has a working command of Spanish and German.

Practical info

Registrations remain open until 1st November

The platform and all conference content will remain accessible to stream for attendees for a further 4 weeks. Registration will remain open for those who would like to access the conference and network with participants. To register please click on REGISTER HERE and complete the form. 

Previous edition

First edition of Nonwovens Circular Forum closes to great aclaim

With over 100 delegates from across the nonwovens and related industries in attendance, the first edition of EDANA’s new Circular Nonwovens Forum successfully created a new platform for discussion on sustainability and circularity within the nonwovens sector. 

Nonwoven manufacturers, their suppliers and converters are increasingly focused on finding circular economy solutions and this gathering was established to explore this trend in depth with key technical actors, business leaders and decision makers. The forum opened with a keynote speech from Paola Migliorini, the Deputy Head of Unit for Sustainable Production, Products & Consumption on the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Action plan. It was followed by a range of insightful presentations and discussions covering initiatives to address the circularity of AHP plastic waste, the biodegradability and compostability of nonwovens, material innovations, and developments in renewable polypropylene. Read more

2020 Programme

2020 Company list

For any questions please contact
Marie-Josepha Peeters