Industry wants to make carpets recyclable

Carpet manufacturers and others in the carpet industry have urged the European Commission and member states to make carpets ‘circular’, meaning that they want the material to be reusable when the carpet is worn out.

Their call follows the report Policy Toolkit for Carpet Circularity in EU Member States published by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE).

Many homes and business throw away old carpets because they cannot be recycled, as they often contain substances not suitable to be used again. Carpet manufacturers are looking at ways to make carpets that can be collected, with the materials in them separated and then used to make new carpets.

This requires phasing out some materials and increasing the renewable content. ZWE wants this process to be mandatory, with Executive Director Joan Marc Simon saying:

“Current legislative and economic frameworks in the carpet sector lock the industry into a wasteful linear system. To build a true circular economy, we need new rules and incentives to bring the whole sector to a higher level of ambition.”

There are many floor coverings available that are recyclable or use recyclable materials in their manufacturer. Solid wood floors can be made from reclaimed wood and many luxury vinyl tiles contain recycled material.

Carpets in Chester homes and business are not generally recyclable. If European Union directs manufacturers to make carpets more environmentally friendly, British manufactures could also make recyclable carpets after Britain leaves the EU if they want to sell carpets across Europe.