Products & Services

April 11, 2024

Evolute® for roll-your-own filter tips: All the lights are green!

Roll-your-own (RYO) products offer consumers the opportunity to customize their smoking experience. They can choose the type of tobacco, the size of the cigarette and, most importantly, the type of filter. One trend that has become increasingly apparent in recent years is the growing demand for sustainable filter tips among RYO smokers. This trend has been reflected in the uptake of SWM’s Evolute® range of natural fiber based-filtering media.

We caught up with Alice Jaussaud (AJ), Product Manager for Filtering Media Solutions, to find out why more and more companies are looking for plastic-free alternatives for filter tip applications.

SWM: We’re seeing strong growth in demand for alternative filter tip solutions in the roll-your-own market: can you explain why manufacturers and consumers are moving away from cellulose acetate?

AJ: In 2022, SWM International commissioned the analytics company Kantar to conduct a consumer survey in five countries around the world to understand smokers’ views on the environmental impact of tobacco products. The research found that more than six out of ten roll-your-own smokers consider sustainability when deciding which tobacco product to buy – that’s over 20% more than smokers of traditional combustible products. This shows that of all tobacco segments, the RYO market is the most open to a transition to more environmentally optimized solutions. On the industrial side, filter tip manufacturers working with RYO industry players have already the capabilities to process our Evolute® products. This is helping the industry respond to increasing regulatory pressures. In particular, the European Union’s Directive on single-use plastics, which was adopted in 2019 and driving change, with implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic-tobacco filters as one of the most littered items globally, and regulations of single-use plastics are currently on the agenda in more than 130 countries.

SWM: Can you explain the success of the Evolute® product range for filter tip manufacturing?

AJ: Our offering has many advantages over the solutions currently available on the market: the products have a lower environmental impact, they’re ready to ship, and they’re cost-effective. Starting with the environmental benefits, our Evolute® portfolio is made from bio-sourced, FSC-certified raw materials. It has accelerated water degradability and is TÜV-certified as “OK biodegradable” in soil and marine environments. Our offering also has benefits on the supply chain side. In fact, the cellulose acetate shortages we’ve seen in recent years have caused serious problems for our customers. Fortunately, we were ready to support them with our on-shelf solution, which has demonstrated excellent performance on high-speed machines and a very good pressure drop stability.

SWM: If a filter tips manufacturer wants to transition to solutions with a reduced impact on the environment, how long would it take to get a product on the shelf?

AJ: If a customer chooses products that are already on-shelf, we can ship them in reels within four weeks of the order. Thanks to our extensive converting capabilities, we can also customize dimensions to meet customer needs. If a company is looking for a new solution, our research and development team – supported by our product, compliance, and stewardship team – will design it for you, selecting safe components to meet international regulatory requirements. What’s more, thanks to the industry partnerships we’ve built over decades, we can easily leverage our network to accelerate the development of alternative solutions. Industry players can count on SWM International’s team of experts to help them accelerate the go-to-market of their eco-friendly product lines.

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