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Future trend: biodegradable filters

Biodegradable filters: Environmental considerations will make traditional acetate filters obsolete in the long term. Hauni was among the first to recognize this paradigm shift and now offers ready-to-use solutions for the production of biodegradable filters.

Compact

Challenge

Around 98 percent of the materials used in cigarette filters have poor biodegradability and fall under the EU‘s ban on single-use plastics. It can take up to ten years for a filter to fully decompose. The legislation covering these types of materials is becoming stricter, and the tobacco industry faces high costs as a result.

Solution

The development of new filter solutions offering high sustainability standards and excellent taste provides an answer to the tobacco industry’s dilemma. In recent years, Hauni has invested significantly in the development of technologies for making biodegradable filters from different materials. Drawing on its close cooperation with various material manufacturers, Hauni already offers extensive know-how and ready-made production solutions.

After plastic bags and drinking straws, the global trend towards sustainability is now turning its spotlight onto tobacco product waste and, in particular, the acetate filters used in the vast majority of cigarettes. This comes as no surprise – after all, around 800,000 tonnes of cigarette butts are discarded as polluting waste every year. It often takes a whole decade for a filter to decompose. Additional taxes on products containing acetate filters, as already proposed in the UK and France, therefore appear almost inevitable. In the European Union, cigarette packets have started to carry a label stating that the filters contain plastic in July 2021. From 2023, manufacturers will be held accountable for the disposal costs relating to these products. “This issue is high on the agenda for our customers around the globe. We expect biodegradable filters to have an 18 percent market share by the end of the decade,” reports Klaus Masuch, Head of Strategic Product Management at Hauni. “It is important for manufacturers to invest in the design and production of their new filters right now to avoid being overwhelmed by future developments. This has been a major focus of our research and testing programs over the past few years.”

Competent development partner

The results are impressive: solutions incorporating a wide range of materials are already available to manufacturers today. These are suitable both for conventional cigarettes and Next Generation Products. They also meet the high demands of manufacturers in terms of smoking properties and taste. “Here, too, we see ourselves as an active product development partner for our customers in the tobacco industry,” says Masuch. “We currently have more extensive experience in the field of biodegradable filters than any other industry supplier and can provide targeted support for our customers’ development activities with know-how, testing capacity, laboratories, contacts and samples in accordance with their needs.”

lWe expect biodegradable filters to have an 18 percent market share by the end of the decade.r

Klaus Masuch, Head of Strategic Product Management at Hauni

Turnkey solutions

Manufacturers are also facing challenges that relate to their equipment. “It’s not enough to have a machine that can make biodegradable filters,” explains Masuch. “The filter must also be made in such a way that it can be easily processed on all the machines in the production environment. That’s why we always develop our solutions with the entire process in mind.” Customer interest is high and the first production lines are about to be delivered. “From capsules and liquids to granules – our approach is suitable for a wide range of biodegradable materials and the full spectrum of current and future special filters,” says Masuch. “With our machines and highly concentrated expertise in the development of new filter solutions, we offer everything that manufacturers need to operate successfully in the still new field of biodegradable filters. That’s our promise, and that’s what we deliver. Because one thing is clear – this issue will

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