Tissue conference, anyone?
MANILA, Philippines - They may just be manufacturing the world's ass-wipes but the tissue industry is so big it has its own four-day global conference and trade show in Europe.
The event is held every two years and gathers tissue manufacturers from over 90 countries worldwide. From March 18 to 21, they will gather in Barcelona, Spain to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the conference which began in 1993 in Nice, France.
This year's theme is "Evolution or Revolution: The Next Steps in Sustainable Tissue Making." The trade show covers the latest that the $80 billion-worth industry has to offer in terms of soft hygienic tissue paper products such as toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels and table napkins.
Study on hand driers
One interesting conference session will bare the results of a study made by Eurofins-Inlab on hand dryers and how much microbial bacteria they carry compared to paper hand towel dispensers.
Based on the conference brief, a study of 150 washrooms in Ruhr, Germany revealed that about 52% of jet air driers and 14% of warm air drier surfaces were contaminated by coliforms, versus none of the paper hand towel dispensers.
The total microbe counts were significantly higher both on the tested surfaces of jet air driers -- approximately 1,000 times higher -- and on the floors beneath these devices -- approximately 20 times higher -- in comparison with the surfaces of hand towel dispensers and on the floors, respectively.
"This poses a greater risk of the transfer of potential pathogens that could cause disease in the user. Floors in particular reflect the potential for airborne transmission, including from droplets emitted during hand drying. From the results of this study, it appears that there may be a greater risk of exposure to microbes associated with some types of hand driers," the brief said.
Getting into this conference and trade show also doesn't come cheap. You need to pay a full conference fee of around 835 euros to as much as 995 euros, or around P45,925 to as much as P54,725 (exchange rate is P55 to a euro) to attend the event.
For those who will man the trade show booths, the conference charges 600 to 800 euros or P33,000 to P44,000 for each delegate. For those who want to attend the conference for only a day, they will have to pay 400 euros to 600 euros per day, depending on the conference day they are attending. Early birds get better deals.
The costs also differ when attendees register in groups and whether they are trade exhibitors or not. Both costs are lower at around 600 euros to 700 euros or roughly P33,000 to P38,500 per delegate.
But these costs may only be peanuts for these tissue manufacturers. After all, the tissue industry includes giants such as Kleenex, Charmin, Tempo, Bounty, Scott, Tork, Cottonelle, White Cloud, Lotus, Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and many others.
The speakers for the conference will be talking about the importance of "Green Credentials" in today's market, the environmental challenges that the industry faces, and the best practices currently in place globally. They will also discuss how companies can reduce costs while strengthening their brands, and provide an outlook on the grocery industry and how consumer's tastes and priorities are changing.
This year's main speakers include:
- Mats Berencreutz, Executive Vice President of Sweden-based tissue manufacturer SCA
- Emmanuelle Neyroumande, Pulp and Paper Strategy Manager of WWF International based in France
- Florian Schütze, Corporate Social Responsibility Director of the global discount supermarket chain, Lidl
- Annemiek Schop, Quality Manager - Non Food of international supermarket operator Ahold in Europe
- Thomas Bergmark, Senior Advisor & former Sustainability Manager of international home products company, the IKEA Group
- With reports from Cai Ordinario/Rappler.com