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Deconstructing Carpet Waste.

The problem

Over 500,000 tonnes of waste carpet are produced in the UK every year. Most of this material is either sent to landfill or to SRF/RDF energy from waste incineration. With the majority of carpets retailed made from polymer based synthetic materials, this is effectively fossil fuel burning by another route. Until very recently there has been no at scale alternative to these methods of disposal and carpet remains a significant bulky waste problem for the UK. 

An emerging solution

New technology and a new process deployed by Northampton based company Innovate Recycle is helping to change the way that waste carpet is handled. The company’s focus is on polypropylene based carpet, currently around 70% of the UK market. In brief, the process deconstructs the material and reclaims polypropylene and calcium carbonate, indicatively two thirds / one third of the processed carpet. The reclaimed polypropylene or rPP has a wide range of injection moulding potential uses from garden buckets to drainage systems to automotive components such as bumpers and trim. There is a growing manufacturing interest in the use of reclaimed materials and the design of products to use these materials. 

Rethinking plastic consumption 

Demonstrating a commitment to plastics, as an important resource for the UK when responsibly used and reused, is vital; and championing the purchase of carpet by consumers that can be readily disposed of and components reclaimed and reused provides a commercial opportunity for manufacturers and retailers. 

An alliance for change 

At Innovate Recycle we want to build an alliance for recycle and reuse within the carpet industry and from properly designed, manufactured and deconstructed products provide a growing source of reclaimed polymers for the UK manufacturing supply chain. Initially, this will be with a group of forward thinking, environmentally responsible manufacturers, retailers and waste handlers – but with an objective to grow this, by demonstrating innovation, delivery and  benefit to establish a true alliance for carpet recycling.

The end goal 

A truly circular approach to carpet manufacture and the reuse of each of its component parts. Adding bottom line value to our company and our partners; increased sales of recyclable products; reduction or elimination of costs for disposal; revenue for the sale and reuse of reclaimed materials.      


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