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Consumers and commercial demand driving carpet recycling
Laurance Bird, CRUK Director

Consumers and commercial demand driving carpet recycling

Energy generation, equestrian surface materials and even the power of social media raising consumer awareness are all helping to drive growth in the reuse and recycling of waste carpet.

Commercial sector demand for sustainability is another factor in future growth of tackling the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arising in the UK each year, delegates at the ninth Carpet Recycling UK 2017 Annual Conference and Awards Event heard.

Sponsored by Invista, manufacturers of ANTRON® Carpet Fibres, the one-day conference at Aston Villa Football Club in Birmingham in June celebrated the achievements and significant contributions by members – both individuals and organisations – who are helping to create a circular economy for carpet by reusing existing resources.

Thanking CRUK’s core funders whose support is ‘key to our success’, CRUK Director Laurance Bird said: “These leading UK carpet manufacturers believe that creating producer responsibility for their product at end of life is very important for building their business on a sustainable base.

“Over the past year or so, we’ve seen an increasing amount of activity to reach out to their customers and, indeed consumers, in different ways to help them with the recovery of material. Their activities are helping to achieve sustainability with less waste to landfill and lower costs. However, challenges still remain with cleanliness and purity of materials for recycling; clean segregation is crucial.”

CRUK’s core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Desso, ege, Milliken, Balsan and Marlings.

Laurance continued: “We are pleased with the sustained level of attendance from across the supply chain from a range of international and British companies. Feedback has been great, including verbal comments about the benefits of networking at the conference. Companies are already setting up meetings following the event!”

Welcoming changing attitudes among consumers that is helping to drive more recycling of carpet waste, he added: “Consumers are getting the sustainable message through the power of social media. Social media is working!”

Guest host and keynote speaker, Andrew Bird, Chair of LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee highlighted the bulky waste challenges facing local authorities, saying: “Given current pressures, there is now a need to fundamentally change the way we finance collection and disposal of waste. Carpets can prove problematic as a bulky item in terms of volume.”

Positive delegate feedback referred to ‘learning about technology process and hearing from different areas of supply chain’ and a ‘robust overview of new innovations and technology’. One delegate praised the event as ‘excellent’, while another enjoyed ‘some very good conversations during break times’.

Founded in 2008 as the industry-backed association for reusing and recycling waste carpet, Carpet Recycling UK’s target is 60% diversion from landfill by 2020. Last year’s 35% landfill diversion rate represented 142,000 tonnes of carpet that were reused, recycled or recovered for energy. Enquiries are welcomed from all types of organisations interested in finding new outlets for their waste carpet with potential savings on disposal costs. Contact Marie Rhodes on 0161 440 8325 or email: Marie@carpetrecyclinguk.com or visit www.carpetrecyclinguk.com.

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