Flooring is one of the world’s largest sources of non-recyclable waste. In Europe alone, approximately 1.6 billion m2 waste is created every year in a market with a value of approximately €11 billion. In the floor covering market, rugs have a share of approximately 30%, and this share is growing rapidly because many consumers are switching to hard floors with rugs on them. Almost the entire rug market still uses fossil-based plastics, dyed with methods that require the use of a lot of water and chemicals, and after use the carpets are incinerated or dumped.
All in all, a huge pile of waste is created by floor coverings, while there are very good alternatives based on bio-based plastics with a very low CO2 footprint, and the recycling has developed to such an extent that a truly closed-chain approach is soon becoming a reality. Hence this project to close the chain for fully recyclable rugs based on bio-based plastics.
In the project Begin we have worked together with our partners DyeCoo Textile Systems and Donkersloot. We have divided the production of a fully circular rug into 5 phases: process conditions, prototyping, dyeing prototypes, recycling and closing the cycle, and a final evaluation.
Based on the leaning experience of project Begin, we know it’s possible. Carbon footprint calculations we have made with TNO have shown we can reduce the carbon footprint by no less than 73%. Based on this exiting result we are working out how to bring this product to the market.