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27.10.2021 – 08:30

Lenzing AG

EANS-News: Lenzing AG
World-renowned marine research institute confirms biodegradability of LENZING? fibers

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Results of experiments conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
provide further proof that LENZING? fibers offer an effective substitute to
synthetic fibers.

Research & Development/Company Information

Lenzing/San Diego - The Lenzing Group, a world-leading provider of wood-based
specialty fibers, has received further scientific proof of the biodegradability
of its fibers. In a study published in October 2021[1], scientists from the
prestigious academic research institute Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(SIO) at the University of California, San Diego confirmed that wood-based
cellulosic fibers biodegrade in the ocean within a short period of time at the
end of their life cycle, making them a better alternative to fossil-based
fibers. The research was the result of an independent project trying to
understand the "end-of-life" scenarios for textiles and nonwovens discarded in
the environment.

SIO has a global reputation for being one of the oldest, largest and most
important marine research centers worldwide. In this study, SIO compared the
degradation processes of nonwovens made from fossil-based synthetic materials
such as polyester with those of cellulosic materials such as Lenzing's wood-
based lyocell, modal and viscose fibers in specific scenarios - under various
real oceanic conditions and controlled aquaria conditions. The results of these
experiments are striking: while wood-based cellulosic fibers fully biodegraded
within 30 days, the fossil-based fibers tested were practically unchanged after
more than 200 days.

"Our business model is one of a circular economy. We take wood from sustainable
forestry and use a highly efficient system of processing all raw materials to
produce fibers that are able to return to the ecosystem at the end of their life
cycle", comments Robert van de Kerkhof, Member of the Managing Board at Lenzing
Group. "The textile and nonwoven industries have to change. Our goal is to raise
widespread awareness of major challenges such as plastic pollution and persuade
the industry to make the transition to wood-based, biodegradable TENCEL(TM),
LENZING(TM) ECOVERO(TM) and VEOCEL(TM) fibers", says van de Kerkhof.

The biodegradability of LENZING(TM) fibers was also tested in the laboratory of
Organic Waste Systems (OWS) in Belgium - one of the world's leading companies in
biodegradability and compostability testing - which showed data confirmed by
those found with the real-life measurements at Scripps. The OWS assessment was
conducted in accordance with applicable international standards and reflects
relevant natural and artificial conditions in which biodegradation can occur.
Certificates from the certification organization TÜV Austria show that LENZING
(TM) fibers rapidly biodegrade in all test environments (soil, industrial
composting, home composting, fresh water and marine water) within the time
frames set by the applicable standards.

Zwtl.: Tailwind from legislation

Environmental pollution from plastics is an important problem of our time, which
may affect many generations to come. The environmental damage caused by the
fashion industry as a result of fast fashion business models is particularly
extreme. The use of fossil-based, synthetic fibers in textiles has approximately
doubled in the last 20 years, which is a trend that is expected to continue.
More than half of all textiles around the world currently contain polyester and
this fraction is set to rise according to a report from the non-profit
organization Changing Markets Foundation[2].

Consequently, Lenzing also welcomes the EU's targeted measures to combat plastic
waste in general, such as those relating to the single-use plastic directive
(EU) 2019/904[3]. In its recently adopted guidelines for implementing the
directive, the EU Commission stipulates the specific products that fall under
this category, which is a well-needed effort to provide clarity to the EU member
states for their joint campaign against environmental pollution from plastic
waste. Lenzing's wood-based, biodegradable cellulosic fibers can be part of a
sustainable and innovative solution to this man-made problem that will continue
to grow. As of July 2021, the single-use plastic directive sets out standardized
labelling requirements for certain products, either on packaging or on the
products themselves, which include plastic-based feminine hygiene products and
wet wipes for body care or household use. This is a start to tackle the problem:
educate the consumer and offer alternative materials with better circularity.

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[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969721031314
[2] http://changingmarkets.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FOSSIL-FASHION_Web-
compressed.pdf
[3] Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5
June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the
environment



Further inquiry note:
Dominic Köfner
Vice President Corporate Communications & Public Affairs
Lenzing AG
Phone: +43 7672 701 2743
E-mail: media@lenzing.com

end of announcement                         euro adhoc
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issuer:       Lenzing AG

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phone:        +43 7672-701-0
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