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Sustainable developments in flooring.

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An unapologetically random collection of our thoughts and observations on the wild, exciting and perilous world of carpet tiles

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Sustainable developments in flooring.

A report published by The Flooring Sustainability Partnership contains some interesting and - on first viewing - encouraging facts.  It would appear that our industry is waking up to its environmental responsibilities.  That's unquestionably a good thing, but are we doing enough, and are we doing the right things?

  • Carpet tile reuse increased by 86% between 2010 and 2011.
  • 447 tonnes of post-consumer vinyl flooring have been collected through the Recofloor scheme in 2011, showing a 134% increase since 2010.
  • 66 tonnes of carpet waste was diverted from landfill in 2011 pushing the diversion rate to 16.5% in 2011 from 10% in 2010.
  • 195 tonnes of packaging waste within the resin flooring sector diverted from landfill, with 95.5% being recycled or recovered.

Clearly, we're seeing moves in the right direction.  But look again at some of those numbers.  66 tonnes of carpet waste diverted from landfill?  What percentage does that represent?  For a significant change to take place, the burden of ecological responsibility has to be shouldered right across the board.  As we make eco-carpet tiles available, buyers have to make a conscious decision to buy them.  This may mean a small price premium, and so far we're not seeing enough commercial carpet tile buyers willing to make that investment in our mutual future.

It's also significant that all of the statistics quoted above refer to disposal of waste.  But is enough attention being paid to the production of carpet tiles?  Our own Minimum 70 and Eco 70 recycled ranges are manufactured using low emission processes, with constant review of environmental economies in transport and packaging.

If we're to see significant environmental benefit from eco-conscious flooring, we all have to increase our commitment.



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