Compared to previous years, it was refreshing to see more sustainable product ranges being displayed by manufacturers at the show this year, which demonstrates the desire for change and responsibility for recyclability at end of life, according to Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK).
Speaking after a successful 2023 Harrogate Flooring Show, CRUK Scheme Manager Adnan Zeb-Khan said: “There was a lot of interest in what we offer through our membership and how we are helping the sector to become more sustainable, through the waste it generates and new product designs.
There is still a high percentage of retailers attending our stand unaware of what is achievable and possible through better waste management practices who need more support and guidance. Unlike the more established retailers, like CRUK member Carpet Right, who have good systems already in place and are looking to find wider and more convenient solutions to the sector’s overall waste disposal practices such as the introduction of take-back schemes.
“In addition to our usual conversations, we also engaged in discussions with the sector on looking for alternative solutions and materials for the production of carpets and textile flooring; for example, looking for alternative replacements for latex, backings and single polymer products. It was encouraging to see a shift change in manufacturers displaying their sustainable and recycled content product ranges. The message is getting through about the need to do more to make carpet and textile flooring more readily recyclable and more sustainable for the future.”
With 17 core members, their 135-strong membership and wider network, the independent, not-for-profit trade association exhibits at the annual show to support its members, while providing information on issues surrounding, waste management, prevention through reuse, recycling options, potential legislative changes and product design.
CRUK’s 17 core members include: Balsan, Betap, Brintons Carpets, Condor Group, Cormar Carpets, ege Carpets, Furlong Flooring, Gradus, Headlam Group, IVC Commercial, Likewise Floors, Milliken, Modulyss, Rawson Carpet Solutions, Shaw, Tarkett and Victoria Group. They are taking voluntary producer responsibility for the products they place on the market and striving to reduce waste in production as well as for their customers, helping to create cost savings.
There was a lot of interest shown by visiting delegates to the case studies CRUK had displayed during the event. These provided real world examples of members innovating or going the extra mile to minimise their wastage and provided a glimpse of CRUK and their members making a positive difference across the sector.
For the first time at the Harrogate Flooring Show, the event presented its 2023 Sustainability Award to Ulster Carpets from a total of 27 entrants, demonstrating a collective industry desire to win such an award.
The CRUK team discussed take-back schemes with yarn suppliers to establish how they can engage with their suppliers in the chemical industry to reuse and recycle excess yarn from the manufacturing processes. Discussions also took place with representatives from the wool sector who are keen to see the introduction of recycling options for wool-based products in the sector.
Adnan added: “Overall, it was a hugely successful show for us with interest from overseas exhibitors expressing interest, including manufacturers, suppliers of raw materials such as fibres/yarns, latex alternatives and backing suppliers, in what we can offer.
“There was a wide range of enquiries on the stand, especially from independent retailers who were keen to better manage their carpet and textile flooring waste streams, reduce landfill and take a more environmentally friendly approach to their operations.”
Once the Flooring Show was over CRUK member MJ’s Event Services, who were commissioned to install all the carpeting used across the show, provided a take-back and recycling option for the used carpet bolstering the sustainability of the event.