Carpet Recycling UK

Carpet Recycling UK: sustained interest in reuse/recycling despite decline in landfill diversion

  • 29 Jun 2020

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 approximately 1.25 million tonnes of carpet waste otherwise destined for landfill.

Creating further landfill diversion solutions for carpet waste reinforces Carpet Recycling UK as the only independent ‘go-to’ body for organisations that want to drive forward sustainability and circular economy principles in the carpet/flooring sector.

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

Carpet Recycling UK

CRUK currently has in the region of 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/

“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,” he said.

Highlighting CRUK’s critical ‘independent’ role on data collection, Adnan continued: “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, this year’s CRUK’s annual conference and awards event, scheduled for 9 July, 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.

Throughout 2020 and beyond, Carpet Recycling UK remains committed to ‘building on the conversation’ with the UK Governments regarding policy changes on how carpet waste is handled in the UK.

Further aims for 2020 include:

 – Monitor and promote the use of carpet and other textile flooring as a resource for carpets in circular production
 – Identify more post-manufacture and post-consumer carpet waste
 – Monitor developments, innovation and changes in the markets for this sector
 – Research and promote developments in sustainable products and circular design
 – Increase support from membership across the sector
 – Build and create networking links

Adnan added: “We are experiencing challenging times. Thanks to unstinting support from our core funders and members, Carpet Recycling UK will continue to advance sustainability within the sector.

“We will continue to monitor and communicate on the fields of design for recycling, manufacturing, waste reduction, breakthroughs in waste management, developing technology, flooring supplier experiences, policy and funding.”

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

For more info, email: [email protected] or visit Carpet Recycling UK’s website.

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