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SK Leaveo to produce biodegradable wet wipes

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : April 24, 2024 - 17:39

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From left: SK Leaveo CEO Yang Ho-jin, KleanNara CEO Choi Hyun-soo and Bonoa CEO Kim Yong-il pose for a photo at a partnership ceremony at SKC headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (SKC) From left: SK Leaveo CEO Yang Ho-jin, KleanNara CEO Choi Hyun-soo and Bonoa CEO Kim Yong-il pose for a photo at a partnership ceremony at SKC headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (SKC)

SK Leaveo, a subsidiary of South Korean chemical giant SKC specializing in biodegradable materials, has formed a partnership with paper product manufacturer KleanNara to create a new line of biodegradable hygiene products, starting with eco-friendly wet wipes.

Under a newly signed agreement on Wednesday, SK Leaveo and KleanNara will focus on producing hygiene products that are not only sustainable but also practical for everyday use. The collaboration aims to harness new materials such as polybutylene adipate terephthalate, or PBAT, and a biodegradable material called Limestone Material Extraordinaire, or Limex, to replace traditional plastic components in products like wet wipes, diapers and feminine hygiene products.

The decision to begin with wet wipes comes in response to their widespread use and the environmental issues associated with their disposal. Traditional wet wipes are primarily composed of polyester, a material that does not break down easily in landfills and can release harmful emissions if incinerated.

The new wipes developed by SK Leaveo and KleanNara will utilize high-strength PBAT and Limex, ensuring they are both durable and fully biodegradable.

As part of its broader commitment to sustainability, SK Leaveo is also set to construct a major PBAT production facility in Hai Phong, Vietnam. The plant, slated to be the largest of its kind globally, will produce 70,000 tons of PBAT annually.

Additionally, SK TBMGeostone, another SKC affiliate, will establish a Limex production site at the same location to optimize the manufacturing process and enhance environmental benefits of the innovative materials.