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Green Blog

Recycling Carpet to Plastic

By Stacey Kosha, (302 words) Posted in Carpet on May 28, 2009
There are (24) comments permalink

We’ve discussed recycling post–consumer carpets back into new carpet, but what about other uses such as plastic?

Post–consumer carpet can be recycled back into many different plastic products. This includes car parts, furniture, and tons of other products made with plastic. In actuality, without other methods of recycling such as carpet to plastic and carpet to energy (meaning carpets are incinerated to generate power), the carpet recycling industry would not be where it is today.

With carpet recycling, recyclers collect and sort post–consumer carpet, separate the individual components (backing, face fibers, etc.), and then recycle the old carpet materials back into new materials. These materials can then be used by carpet manufacturers to make new carpet or by compounders to make new plastic materials. This is a practice that saves millions of pounds of carpet waste from filling landfills on an annual basis; however, the ability for manufacturers to use these recycled carpet materials to make new carpet will never be high enough to match the amount of carpet that is available to be recycled. With carpet to plastic, recycled carpets are being used to make hundreds, if not thousands of other non–carpet related plastic items. By supplementing the carpet to carpet model with a carpet to plastics model, the amount of carpet that is recycled will continue to grow.

To help advance the use of recycled carpet materials in plastic products (known as carpet to plastic), the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has brought in professionals from different areas of the industry to help discover new ways to use recycled carpet in the plastic industry. This was a popular topic of discussion at the 2009 Annual CARE Conference in Lansdowne, Virginia.

By finding new innovative ways to recycle post–consumer carpet into plastic products, the world of carpet recycling is helping our society head toward a brighter, greener future.

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