Cavalier Bremworth is launching a new carpet backing, Flashbac, that's made entirely from recycled wool carpet.
Flashbac was developed over two years in conjunction with Auckland-based Textile Products, and will be introduced onto Cavalier Bremworth carpet ranges going forward.
The wool carpet maker says it's already seeing strong international interest and significant potential for export of the backing as a stand-alone product to offshore carpet manufacturers.
Spokesperson Desiree Keown said the new backing will replace the existing imported jute and will see around 1200 tonnes of waste carpet diverted away from landfill each year, or the equivalent of covering an entire rugby field up to 6.5 metres deep if the carpet was laid flat.
“We expect to see our use of waste carpet grow substantially as production expands, exports develop, and the public get in behind the take-back scheme. There is a potential waste stream of around 5000 tonnes a year so that gives us a great opportunity to produce significant quantities for export.”
Envirowaste and Cavalier Bremworth have signed up a number of Auckland carpet retailers to participate in the carpet take-back process.
Special carpet recycling containers have been placed at four Envirowaste public transfer stations throughout Auckland and the disposal price has been dropped to $75 + GST per tonne.
New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said it was “great to see one of our members taking a lead on improving the sustainable credentials of their product and diverting waste from landfill".
Both major flooring retail groups – Flooring Xtra and Flooring Brands – have jumped behind Flashbac
"It will be installer friendly, easy on the paintwork, and good for the environment," said Rodney Martin, chairman and chief executive of Flooring Brands, Carpet Court and the Floorstore.
Keown said the new recycled carpet backing had been extensively tested and performed better than jute.
“We tested it in a three-month trial in school corridors at New Zealand’s biggest school – Rangitoto College – and it worked extremely well.
“As well as having excellent fire resistance, thermal and sound insulation properties, it is slightly thicker than jute and much softer which means less damage to skirtings and walls when carpet is being installed,” she said.
“It also produces very low air emissions through our backing plant compared to the jute, which is another environmental positive.”