Carpets Inter plans to upcycle 1 billion plastic bottles by 2025
India is a major global polluter of plastic waste into our oceans, with an estimated 535 kg of plastic garbage being disposed into the river Ganges every year. And Carpets Inter is doing its bit in reducing plastic waste through the sales of their unique EcoSoft PET recycle cushion backed modular carpet tiles which have led us to recycle over 0.8 billion single-use plastic PET bottles already. Richard Morris, Global Business Director, Carpets Inter tells us more about the initiative and their ambitious goal of recycling over 1 billion bottles by the year 2025. Excerpts:
How many tonnes of plastics has your company utilised so far and what’s the next target?
Since 2004, we at Carpets Inter have recycled over 0.8 Billion single-use plastic PET bottles, into our EcoSoft modular backing, averting harmful pollution into landfill and our ecosystems waterways in support of Ocean Clean-up endeavours. We achieved zero waste to landfill and are completely self-sustainable in water supply & treatment. We repurpose and donate 100% of the sediment deposited from our on-site water & human waste sewerage treatment plant in cooperation with the leading Thai brand of organic agricultural fertilizer. Organic fertilizer is free from harmful pesticides and provides a cost-effective alternative to the Thai Farming community. Contributing to the fertile growth of thousands of acres of crop yields, such as pineapple, sugarcane, cassava and systematic tree planting, natures inherent process of photosynthesis and the soil’s regenerative natural ability to sequester CO²provides natural filtration of harmful CO² from our atmosphere back into the ground. We do this because the best solution to combat climate change is the regenerative power of our soil.
EcoSoft PET felt Cushion backing is manufactured using discarded single-use PET plastic soft drink and water bottles. These bottles would have otherwise entered landfill or contribute to polluting our precious waterways. The threat to our marine life is at a critical level due to the massive amounts of plastic entering our oceans every second, with the River Ganges being the largest contributor of over 550 Million Kg of waste plastics per year. Our affiliation with The Ocean Cleanup is only the latest phase in a long campaign to recycle that dates back to 2004 when Carpets Inter established the ambitious goal of recycling over 1 billion bottles by the year 2025. As it approaches that goal, having recycled over 787 million PET bottles to date, the prolific carpet producer seeks to build on its success and raise its commitment to the next level by tying proceeds from its newest collection directly to marine preservation.
Utilizing plastic for carpets is gaining ground in India. Will it affect the traditional carpet industry?
As a leader in the commercial carpet tile industry, Carpets Inter has a history of sustainable practices dating back over 14 years. Most notably, it has pioneered the introduction of the revolutionary carpet tile backing, EcoSoft®, which is made exclusively from upcycled plastic bottles. Among the plastic debris responsible for the deaths of millions of marine animals each year, plastic bottles pose a particular threat as nearly a million are bought or sold around the world every minute.
A commercial installation of Carpets Inter collections with EcoSoft® backing will typically contain an estimated 50,000 recycled PET plastic bottles. The unique backing is not only environmentally conscious, it delivers additional benefits such as superior noise absorption for indoor acoustics and lightweight durability that provides both stability and comfort underfoot when compared with traditional hardback carpet tiles.
How long does it take to make a carpet?
This depends on the type of construction. A hand-made product can take anything from 3 months to 3 years depending on the size. However, in the commercial soft-flooring industry, machine-made constructions will generally require between 5 to 12 weeks to produce. For modular carpet tiles, the corporate clients relocate, they generally allow a 2 to 3-month fit-out window, thus at Carpets Inter we stock over 300,000m2 of finished goods across +200 SKU’s to ensure our business partners and Clients schedules are met, avoiding the need to impact the environment with potential Air Cargo. With EcoSoft backing, there is a 30% reduction in overall product weight which translates to a significant reduction to the CO2 footprint created with logistics of door-to-door delivery.
The global pandemic has left the manufacturing community severely impacted in the form of raw material increase, rise in global shipping charges and reduced business in the last 12 months. However, at Carpets inter, we are committed to providing eco-friendly products by working together with the Architectural, PMC & MNC community towards providing healthier occupied spaces in a manner that protects the environment. Whilst larger competitor manufacturers are still moving out of their covid hibernation, we have recently launched 3 new modular flooring collections and another 3 by mid-2021, all of which have environmental reuse, repurpose, recycle and environmental theme to them.
Our new ZeroFlowSoftanti-viral & anti-microbial healthcare product, which will be launched by mid-2021 and uses recycled PET EcoSoft® back, will revolutionize floor coverings for Aged Care, Senior Living, Education and Wellbeing facilities. Our investors continue to support sustained growth and new ventures for Wall Acoustic, again manufactured with 100% Recycled PET Plastic Bottles to provide unsurpassed and affordable acoustical solutions combining the high performance of both our cushion back modular flooring and wall acoustic panels.