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Industry Talk

Industry support for circular economy carpet initiatives

Volume of textile flooring waste diverted from landfill in the UK increased to 70% in 2020.

27th July 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cheshire, United Kingdom

Interiors, Sustainable

A clear shift in industry support for collaboration to recover textile flooring waste materials and help develop technology and infrastructure for the circular economy was evident at the annual conference of Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), held in June.

Speaking after the first in-person event for three years, CRUK scheme manager Adnan Zeb-Khan commented: “We received a tremendously positive response from the over ninety delegates who feel motivated to take greater action on sustainability within their organisations and collectively as a sector. We look forward to continuing the conversations and turning ideas into actions.”

The comprehensive two-day programme focused on circularity advancements and market-based solutions, research topics and case studies to demonstrate members’ achievements. Also covered, were policy and legislative changes and technology advances within the sector in relation to treating waste more sustainably, design for recycling and waste reduction for textile flooring.

 “Case studies from our member network demonstrated the importance of working closely with CRUK in achieving desired outcomes, with one member quoting up to £200,000 worth of savings on annual waste collection expenditure,” Zeb-Khan said.

Through its 119-strong membership,15 core funders and extensive UK-wide and international network, the not-for-profit association is assisting the sector in creating new initiatives aimed at pushing a greater proportion of the tonnage of waste rising up the waste hierarchy into reuse. CRUK announced at the conference that the volume of textile flooring waste diverted from landfill has increased again – from 65% in 2019 to 70% in 2020. Due to several market influences and factors, a greater proportion is going to energy from waste outlets and a key focus will be to help to reduce this by potentially creating new markets.

The CRUK annual awards ceremony celebrated proactivity in relation to environmental sustainability, innovation and success in recovering carpet and textile flooring for new uses.

Six members – Designer Contracts, MJ’s Event Services, Spruce Carpets, Interfloor, Tarkett Ltd and Bonar Yarns – were  recognised with a Special Collaboration Award to reward their efforts to reuse and recycle flooring following last year’s COP26 event in Glasgow.

Tarkett took the Circular Economy Initiative Award for its 100% closed loop Desso carpet tiles, which are designed and produced using recycled flooring, and Spruce Carpets won the Reuse Member of the Year Award for its reuse of carpet tiles and broadloom carpets.

Andy Murphy of Melrose Interiors was named Recycling Champion of the Year for his tireless work within product development in the circular economy, turning pre-consumer surplus flooring into stylish, hand-finished rugs and runners. Melrose Interiors also won Recycler of the Year for its Relay recycling programme.

MJ’s Event Services clinched the Take Back Partner of the Year award for its coordination and drive to repurpose the COP26 flooring.

“Anyone who is not currently a member of CRUK in this sector is encouraged to make contact and join us at this important – perhaps crucial – time, to collaborate in the sector’s next steps on sustainability and legislation, and to benefit from the successes that membership can bring,” Zeb-Khan concluded.

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