Tarkett, Aquafil aim to close the loop on carpet tiles

HomeNewsTarkett, Aquafil aim to close the loop on carpet tiles

Waalwijk, The Netherlands—Tarkett is closing the loop on commercial carpet tiles in Europe thanks to a pioneering partnership with Aquafil. At Tarkett’s Waalwijk facility, the company is now able to separate the two principal components of carpet tiles—yarn and backing—while retaining more than 95% yarn purity. This level of purity is vital in ensuring the polyamide 6 (PA6) yarn can be recycled by Aquafil and later transformed into regenerated Econyl nylon yarn.

In addition, Tarkett has increased its capacity in Waalwijk to produce its EcoBase carpet tile backing to meet customers’ growing demand. Available since 2010, EcoBase has been designed for disassembly from the outset. Overall, 100% of an EcoBase-backed carpet tile with PA6 yarn is recyclable. The PA6 yarn and backing are recycled without loss of quality. Used yarn becomes new yarn and used backing new backing. Recycling EcoBase-backed peel-and-stick carpet tiles with Econyl yarn delivers up to 84% CO2 savings compared to incineration.

“Technological innovation now makes it possible to multiply the life cycles of building materials,” said Fabrice Barthélemy, Tarkett’s CEO. “Together with Aquafil, we are accelerating our circular economy journey and leading our industry’s progress in carpet recycling. This is a fundamental step forward in maximizing the value of materials and preventing carpet tiles from being incinerated or sent to landfill. Truly closing the loop on flooring is a key driver of Tarkett’s strategy to preserve natural resources and protect the environment.”

Tarkett has sourced PA6 and Econyl nylon yarn from Aquafil for more than a decade and uses Econyl in its Desso AirMaster carpet tiles, for example. Now, the partnership is going full circle, with Aquafil sourcing post-use PA6 yarn from Tarkett to create its regenerated Econyl yarn.

“We are delighted to help Tarkett with the last mile of its journey to close the loop on carpet tile production,” said Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil’s CEO. “We must urgently transform the way products are designed, produced and consumed. Through our collaboration with Tarkett, we will strengthen our commitment to realizing this vision by increasing the reutilization of yarns and helping to design out waste.”

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