Tarkett and Aquafil close the loop on carpet tiles : a key step towards circular economy

21st November 2019

Tarkett is closing the loop on commercial carpet tiles in Europe thanks to a pioneering partnership with Aquafil, presented in Waalwijk, The Netherlands, November 21 2019. This is the result of an intensive collaboration over recent years, going beyond the traditional customer and supplier relationship. This partnership is a significant step towards a more Circular economy.

Tarkett has developed breakthrough technology at its unique recycling centre facility in Waalwijk, creating two streams of materials that can be recycled and transformed into high-quality resources for new products. 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 that 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 for this sustainable product. 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[1]. The PA6 yarn and backing are recycled without loss of quality; used yarn becomes new yarn and used backing new backing. Recycling EcoBase-backed carpet tiles with ECONYL® yarn delivers up to 84%[2] CO2 savings compared to incineration.

Watch this animation for more details about how we recycle carpet tiles :

[1] 76% is recycled in a closed-loop and the remaining 24% is co-processed in the cement industry, with small variances per collection.
[2] Based on end-of-life stage only at Tarkett’s Carpet Recycling Center, for the same product, externally verified by Bureau Veritas.