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Carpet conference lays down case for design for recycling

United Kingdom – The need to rethink how carpet products are designed to facilitate recycling was a major topic at the seventh annual conference of Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), held recently in Birmingham. ‘How new products are designed now will have a critical impact on how they can be recycled in the future,’ noted CRUK director Laurance Bird.

More intelligent use of products, components and materials was the core message delivered by Ken Webster of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. ‘The leading element is design; if we don’t design it right in the first place, we’ll have a lot of trouble getting it back,’ he commented.

Meanwhile, award-winning Vanessa Brady OBE of Interior Design Services, who is also president of the Society of British and International Design, explained how interior designers can guide consumers towards making the best flooring choices not only for their lifestyles but also for sustainability. ‘Through sharing knowledge, we can bridge the gap and advise on products that can reduce environmental impact over their lifetimes,’ she stated.

Some 400 000 tonnes of carpet waste arises each year in the UK and CRUK’s Vision to 2020 is targeting 60% diversion from landfill. The organisation’s project manager Jane Gardner observed: ‘By keeping resources in the supply chain and designing carpets for recycling, we can look towards closed-loop recycling of carpets with full support from carpet suppliers.’

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