As dynamics rapidly evolve with the significant economic impacts brought about by COVID-19, CRI has made the difficult decision to terminate funding of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Voluntary Product Stewardship (VPS) program on June 30, 2020. A $2.5 million cap has been placed on the program to encompass funds paid from January 1, 2020 through the June 30 termination date.
Funded by CRI members, the CARE VPS program was created in 2014 as a voluntary, nationwide program to help fund sorters and recyclers that divert post-consumer carpet from landfills. It was originally intended to be a one-year incentive to help maintain the financial viability of carpet recycling during a critical period when market pricing alone (due to oil pricing and other economic headwinds) would not have likely allowed most recyclers and sorters to operate. Through continued funding by CRI’s carpet industry members, the program continued for four and a half years with $15.5 million paid directly to recyclers.
CRI and its members greatly value the critical role that sorters and recyclers play in making carpet recycling possible and appreciate the challenges these business owners are also facing during these unprecedented times. Earlier this month, CRI said VPS paid a one-time bonus to program participants based upon their average monthly pay-out over the past 12 months as the industry prepared for the unknown impacts of COVID-19.
CRI said its members remain confident about the future of the industry, and will consider reinstituting some programs in the future. This is a necessary and prudent step it must take in the short term.