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Recycled carpets on the rise despite declining landfill diversion

Recycled carpets on the rise despite declining landfill diversion

FLOORING industry support for carpet waste reuse and recycling opportunities in the UK continues to rise, despite an overall 10% decrease in the total amount of carpet waste identified and recorded in 2019 compared to 2018, according to Carpet Recycling UK’s latest achievements report.

Since its formation in 2007, the not-for-profit, industry-led membership association has enabled both members and non-members to divert around 1.25 million tonnes of carpet waste otherwise destined for landfill.

CRUK’s latest data for 2019 reveals the volume of carpet waste diverted from landfill in the UK was 158,577 tonnes (175,252 tonnes in 2018), with the majority being post-consumer broadloom carpets compared to carpet tiles or post-manufacture waste. Material sent to the energy from waste sector as RDF/SRF had declined in line with other reports in that sector.

However, CRUK’s figures show sustained strong interest from across the supply chain in initiatives to reuse and recycle carpet waste where possible, with encouraging rises in activity in the following areas:

  • Carpet tiles reuse has more than doubled
  • Use in carpet fibre recovery was up by more than 50%
  • Plastics recycling (from synthetic fibres) went up by just under 50%
  • Small increase in surfaces material for the equestrian market
  • 660 enquiries from across the supply chain in 2019, compared to 624 in 2018
  • More than 150 enquiries from flooring suppliers in 2019, versus 130 in 2018

CRUK currently has around 110 members and its core funders are Balsan, Betap, Brintons Carpets, Cormar Carpets, DESSO, ege Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/ Headlam and Milliken.

In 2019, CRUK changed the way it generates industry data, by capturing additional information such as identifying captured carpet tile waste as a separate stream and recording other end-of-life use where possible, it is able to provide more specific areas of information.

Commenting on the latest data, CRUK Manager Adnan Zeb-Khan suggests that the 2019 reduction in collected carpet waste is due to a number of factors, such as market uncertainty, additional taxes/lower sales, company mergers/acquisitions and the waste sector seeing reduced waste streams generated within the UK.

On a positive note, he points to the ‘increasing awareness towards end of life treatment and disposal of carpet waste’ among businesses within the supply chain, saying: “More than 60 flooring suppliers are now CRUK members, liaising with us in the development of recycling options for their customers. Enquiries from the waste/demolition and construction sectors are also increasing.

“For the last 12 years, Carpet Recycling UK has maintained its position as the ‘go-to’ body for information on outlets for carpet and other textile waste, facilitation of networking and information on sustainability within the sector.

“Going forward, our sustainable treatment of all types of waste in the UK is going to change – and carpet as a viable raw material resource will, in my view, be a key part of that equation. We are facilitating the growth of sustainability for companies who are engaging with us ahead of legislation.”

Due to the latest unprecedented circumstances, CRUK’s annual conference and awards event on July 9th 2020 has also been postponed, but the Awards may still be going ahead to recognise member’s achievements during 2019. Awards application criteria is being prepared and members will be invited to submit their entries with the winners receiving their accolades online in the summer.

CRUK’s mission still remains to promote the diversion from landfill of textile flooring in the UK to a resource for sustainable use.


www.carpetrecyclinguk.com