Green Products Recycled Carpet
Purchasing environmentally responsible recycled carpet will include face fiber of some recycled post-industrial or post-consumer content (no one produces a 100% recycled nylon content fiber which is recyclable into new carpet fiber yet) with 100% recycled content backing, which in combination is recyclable. Or, 100% recycled PET polyester – which is now difficult to recycle after its useful life but in a few years should be. Most of the recycled nylon comes from post-industrial fiber (waste from extrusion and yarn mills, clean lint and edge trim from finishing lines) as opposed to post-consumer (carpet that has served its useful life). The technology is rapidly advancing (ie., DuPont and Shaw) to separate and convert used nylon fiber into new carpet fiber and backing, making a closed-loop system. As experience levels increase and manufacturing plants adapt their facilities to meet the new technology, the percent content of post-consumer content will increase. Several companies make carpet cushion materials that utilize recycled and natural materials such as recycled post-industrial fibers, recycled polyurethane, and jute and hair. Recycled tire rubber and recycled textiles and foam are made into carpet pad. Keep in mind the following when deciding on a new carpet: recycling your old carpet so that it does not end up in the landfill, using carpet tiles rather than rolls to aid in spot replacement and longer life, deciding on the type of fiber (nylon, polyester PET, wool) and the recycled content and recyclability of the face fiber, backing, and cushion, the density and durability of the fiber for heavy traffic use, and how color and pattern contributes to wear. Some people prefer the appearance and durability of nylon over polyester, others will state that recycled polyester (PET plastic) is more durable and naturally stain resistant.