Tarkett and Aquafil close the loop on carpet tiles: a key step towards circular economy
Tarkett today announces that it is closing the loop on commercial carpet tiles in Europe thanks to a pioneering partnership with Aquafil. This is the result of an intensive collaboration over recent years, going beyond the traditional customer and supplier relationship.
The two companies present today this significant step towards circular economy at Tarkett’s carpet tile facility in Waalwijk, the Netherlands. Its unique recycling center creates two streams of materials that can be recycled and transformed into high-quality resources for new products.
Tarkett has developed breakthrough technology at its Waalwijk facility and is now able to separate the two principal components of carpet tiles – yarn and backing, while retaining more than 95% yarn purity. This level of purity is vital in ensuring that the polyamide 6 (PA6) yarn can be recycled by Aquafil and later transformed into regenerated ECONYL® nylon yarn.
In addition, Tarkett has increased its capacity in Waalwijk to produce its EcoBase carpet tile backing to meet customers’ growing demand for this sustainable product. Available since 2010, EcoBase has been designed for disassembly from the outset.
Overall, 100% of an EcoBase-backed carpet tile with PA6 yarn is recyclable1. The PA6 yarn and backing are recycled without loss of quality; used yarn becomes new yarn and used backing new backing. Recycling EcoBase-backed carpet tiles with ECONYL® yarn delivers up to 84%2 CO2 savings compared to incineration.
Tarkett has invested approximatively 15 million euros on this whole set of initiatives aimed at closing the loop on carpet tiles in Europe.
“Technological innovation now makes it possible to multiply the life cycles of building materials. Together with Aquafil, we are accelerating our circular economy journey and leading our industry’s progress in carpet recycling,” says Fabrice Barthélemy, Tarkett’s CEO.
“This is a fundamental step forward in maximising the value of materials and preventing carpet tiles from being incinerated or sent to landfill. Truly closing the loop on flooring is a key driver of Tarkett’s strategy to preserve natural resources and protect the environment.”
Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil’s CEO, comments: “We are delighted to help Tarkett with the last mile of its journey to close the loop on carpet tile production. We must urgently transform the way products are designed, produced and consumed. Through our collaboration with Tarkett, we will strengthen our commitment to realising this vision by increasing the reutilisation of yarns and helping to design out waste.”
Tarkett has sourced PA6 and ECONYL® nylon yarn from Aquafil for more than a decade and uses ECONYL® in its Desso AirMaster carpet tiles, for example. Now, the partnership is going full circle, with Aquafil sourcing post-use PA6 yarn from Tarkett to create its regenerated ECONYL® yarn.
“Closing the loop is a collaborative endeavour and we invite our customers to join us in making this journey together through our ReStart® flooring take-back and recycling programme,” concludes Fabrice Barthélemy.
“The construction and renovation sector is undergoing a major transformation. Tarkett is playing an active role in this unprecedented mobilization of innovative players committed to reducing the carbon footprint of building materials and to extending their lifespan. In working with us, our customers have the opportunity to make the right choices to create sustainable buildings and spaces for future generations.”
Tarkett is the only carpet-maker in Europe to have verified evidence of closing the loop on carpet tile production, as documented by the Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for EcoBase-backed tiles.
This change of scale in flooring will also be amplified in Europe with the development of a European Green Deal by the European Commission that promotes recycling channels and encourages the use of sustainable materials, accelerating the shift to the circular economy3.
1 76% is recycled in a closed-loop and the remaining 24% is co-processed in the cement industry, with small variances per collection.
2 Based on end-of-life stage only at Tarkett’s Carpet Recycling Center, for the same product, externally verified by Bureau Veritas.
3 3 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/mission-letter-frans-timmermans-2019_en.pdf
Start built of visitor area Carpet Recycling Center
In September 2018, we started the construction of the visitor area of our Carpet Recycling Center. This aim of this visitor area is to explain the process to our visitors. This will be done with use of a video animation and a table with carpet ingredients, on which visitors can see and touch the materials/ingredients used.
France Télévisions visit DESSO
An interview team of France Télévisions visited the project in Waalwijk to conduct an interview with Mrs. Pascale Trichon (Directrice Marketing and Communications). The project and its sustainability impacts were explained during the interview which was broadcasted on French national television.
LIFE+ Platform Conference on Circular Economy inspires policy and business strategy
The LIFE Platform Conference in Milan was an inspiring event to exchange views on options for policy makers and enterprises to foster circular economy business models.
Marco van Bergen presented the views of carpet company DESSO on the circular economy, which will be further developed as part of their project 'LIFE+ ClosedLoopCarpet'. Many thanks to DG Environment and NEEMO for organizing this inspiring event. The event has been an excellent occasion to exchange information with other projects and has resulted in valuable contacts with organisations active in fields relevant to the LIFE ClosedLoopCarpet project, including: - ARN, coordinator of the PST (Post Shredder Technology) project, and - WRAP, Pioneering resource efficient business models (REBMs) for a circular economy.
ZDF Children's TV show 'Neun ein halb' visit to DESSO in Waalwijk
A team of ZDF visited our factory in Waalwijk to conduct an interview about Restart with Nicole Schaffroth (Sustainability manager, Research & Innovation). The process of the project was discussed on the show, which was shown on German national television.
DESSO and BAM visit Spanish LIFE projects
BAM and DESSO have jointly conducted a visit to two Spanish projects financed by the LIFE programme: “POLYMIX” (Polymer Wastes in Asphalt Mixes: a Way to Increase Sustainability of Roads Infrastructures) and “GreenRoad” (Fostering GREEN Public Procurement in ROAD construction through the validation of high-performance asphalt eco-mixtures).
Cooperation possibilities were discussed, which are from the point of view of DESSO targeted at assessing whether a mixture of bitumen and polymers originating from its recycling operations could be a valuable ingredient for road construction.
Desso visit the BAM LIFE project LE2AP
On Thursday, July 17th, Desso visited the BAM Life project LE2AP. The visit arose after the previous visit BAM brought to Desso. DESSO is a leading European manufacturer of high quality and durable carpet. Desso also participates in the LIFE program of the European Commission with the Closed Loop Carpet project. Desso and BAM fits as well as an innovative separation technology to gain from discarded material to get quality raw materials. With the visits of both sides of each innovation they want to learn and where possible to set a lasting cooperation.
Desso was received by the project team at the headquarter of BAM. First of all technical innovations were explained through a presentation and then a visit to the lab to make. In the laboratory the project team showed the practices so far. At the end of the visit we agreed to keep each other posted of the developments during the project. Next to that BAM and Desso are going to Spain in 2015 to the LIFE project that there concerned with separation technologies visit.
BAM visit Life Project Closed Loop Carpet DESSO in Waalwijk
On Monday 23 June BAM visited the Life project Closed Loop Carpet Desso in Waalwijk. DESSO is a leading European manufacturer of high quality and durable carpet. BAM has come in contact with Desso for its innovative separation technology that Desso wants to apply on her carpet and the released bitumen during this process.
Desso has received a grant from the LIFE program to demonstrate the feasibility technical and economic of the developed innovative separation technology. The objective is to use this technology to regain discarded carpet material to raw materials with a very high purity. This is closed loop recycling. One of these raw materials is bitumen, one of the constituents of asphalt.
BAM viewed separation technology while visiting Desso. All technical ins and outs have been discussed to see if whether cooperation is possible given the similarities in the two projects. To expound on this an appointment scheduled for a visit by Desso to BAM. In this way Desso can get a better understanding of the separation technology that BAM used and applying these technologies can be compared. This appointment will take place in July.
Regular visits to the DESSO plant in Waalwijk
Every week different groups visit the DESSO plant in Waalwijk (approximately 2 to 3 groups a week), the information booth of the LIFE project (see also photo above) that was placed adjacent to the installation is a part of the tour. The visitors are informed on the technology and recycling targets of DESSO The visitors are clients, prospects, governmental agencies and schools. Please contact us if you would like to visit our premises.
For more information, please contact:
DESSO Refinity B.V.
Mr. Marco van Bergen, Manager Restart
5142 PA Waalwijk
Tel: +31 (0)416 684 100
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