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Green Blog

Environmental Concerns of the Carpet and Rug Institute

By FAF Staff Writer, (344 words) Posted in Carpet on September 5, 2009
There are (17) comments permalink

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is one of the major guiding forces of the carpet industry. One of the responsibilities under its umbrella is spreading awareness of the accountability of the carpet industry regarding environmental concerns. The CRI has been urging its members to develop a proven commitment and adopt a positive approach toward environmental hazards and the manufacturing of carpet.

The process of manufacturing many types of carpet and area rugs necessitates large quantities of water and energy. These were the areas first addressed by the CRI. The industry has made significant strides in this direction, some of the successes being:

  • A reduction in water consumption of 30%
  • Reduction of energy by more productive energy management
  • Major reduction in air pollutants and green–house gas emissions
  • Reduced dependence on "dirty fuels" and increased use of renewable energy

In addition, the question of disposal of post–consumer carpets has been aggressively tackled. This initiative has been taken on by manufacturers and other organizations such as the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), of which the CRI is an active participant.

The result has been an annual recovery of 225 million pounds of post–consumer carpet from the 5 billion pounds produced each year. This post–consumer carpet would normally have reached landfills. These 225 million pounds are recycled into alternative products such as building materials, auto parts and new carpet tiles. The use of such recycled products in the building industry carries a high rating under the standards of the US Green Building Council.

Other areas that have been addressed are the recovery of unusable fiber and yarn for use in products other than carpets, and finding alternative use for waste trimmings. Polythene packaging, cardboard, paper, aluminum, yarn cones, wooden pallets, liquid containers etc., are all being salvaged for reuse or for recycling.

An initiative of the CRI in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the Green Label Program. The program encourages the manufacture to produce eco–friendly carpet. These are distinguished by testing emission levels in carpet, pad and adhesive. Approval is granted and the product "Green Label certified" when the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by the carpet are deemed harmless.

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Comments (17)

Eco Chick posted on: September 5, 2009

Glad to see CRI is doing its part to encourage the industry to reduce, reuse and renew! I wish more individuals would follow suit. Drives me nuts to see more than half my neighborhood throwing out the things that should be recycled. Why doesn't ever city with garbage pickup mandate recycling?

Jane posted on: April 1, 2013

Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects the environment. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions which helps reduce the effects of climate change. - Steven Wyer

desmod posted on: August 4, 2013

Good point! Can't really understand why people are not like you. - Carmack Moving and Storage

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