Our goal is to collect 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer carpet via our Take Back™ Programme by 2020.
Desso offers clients a Take Back™ programme to ensure that products will be recycled according to the Cradle to Cradle® principles. Products will be taken back by Desso after their useful life, and will be safely recycled into new carpet products, or used in other recycling initiatives. By sourcing positively defined raw materials, introducing new manufacturing methods and collecting used carpets from clients, we are doing everything we can to achieve a closed loop process (from production to use and back again).
Besides our own products, we also encourage the international collection of all types of used carpet, except for those products containing PVC. Carpets are recycled using our innovative separation technique called Refinity®, which separates the yarn and other fibres from the backing.
This is the way in which businesses like ours can make the transition to the circular economy, where goods are made to be safely made again and again. We believe going circular is the most sustainable and innovative approach to business in the 21st century. The 'take, make and dispose' linear economy is not sustainable, especially as we see millions of new consumers emerge in the rising markets in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.
In 2009, Desso developed an innovative separation technique called Refinity®, which enables us to separate the yarn and other fibres from the backing, thereby producing two main material streams which can be recycled. After an additional purification stage, the yarn (with the required purity) is returned to the yarn manufacturer for the production of new yarn. Some virgin material is needed to compensate for losses and process inefficiency.
For Polyamide 6 yarn, this process takes place at Aquafil, one of our yarn suppliers. Aquafil has developed proprietary technology at its regeneration plant to turn recovered post-consumer polyamide 6 carpet fibres into new polyamide 6 again and again. The polyolefin based layer of our EcoBase™ backing is 100% safely recyclable in our own production process, whereas the bitumen backing (used in most carpet tiles in Europe presently) is reused in the road and roofing industry. All non-recyclable fractions will be used as secondary fuel in the cement industry.
We need to give serious thoughts to which materials are used in carpets today, and how we can recover them tomorrow. At Desso we want to ensure that the material stream never ends. It's all about having non-toxic material flows and using sustainable energy to achieve this.