Carpet manufacturers, industry associations and civil society have joined together to make the carpet sector circular, and to urge the European Commission and Member States to adopt mandatory rules to push the industry in this direction.
This call to action follows Eunomia’s report called Policy Toolkit for Carpet Circularity in EU Member States and was launched by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and is supported by DSM-Niaga, Interface and Tarkett.
ZWE has called on carpet firms to agree on the vision that by 2025 all commercial and household carpets on the market should be reusable, separately collected, and fully recyclable, and be free of any harmful substance.
To make this happen, the sector must phase out virgin materials, and transition towards safe and healthy components, including an increase in the recycling rate or renewable content, said ZWE.
The organisation believes that a circular economy for carpets is only possible if a mandatory approach with ambitious policies is adopted.
From this, the toolkit proposed by Eunomia provides a range of options that policy-makers can choose from to accelerate a circular economy, while also helping to achieve the EU recycling and landfill aims. This includes:
- Mandatory eco-design measures with minimum essential requirements – provide a minimum five-year warranty, set recycled and content levels, provide ‘product passports’ to assist recyclers and mandate installation techniques to allow easy removal
- Mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
- Part mandatory without EPR but with incentivised collection.
DSM-Niaga, ZWE, Interface and Tarkett said that they support the use of an efficient, transparent and well-designed EPR scheme as a way to create the necessary incentives to drive the transition and commit to support them in the countries considering mandatory measures that allow the carpet sector to go circular.
ZWE executive director Joan Marc Simon said: “Current legislative and economic frameworks in the carpet sector lock the industry into a wasteful linear system. To build a true circular economy we need new rules and incentives to bring the whole sector to a higher level of ambition. This is why we support the measures proposed in the Eunomia toolkit, and we call on the European Commission and Member States to set the legal framework that will make the carpet sector go circular.”
DSM-Niaga manager strategic growth Lukas Hoex said: “DSM-Niaga is concerned about carpet waste and believes producer responsibility is a big part of the solution. Manufacturers of any kind of product, also carpet, have to design and make products with recycling in mind, and support the collection of products after use. Mandatory disclosure of ingredients is in our view an urgent part of extended producer responsibility, since it supports the consumer to make better choices and the supports recyclers to handle products in the right way.’’