Carpet retailers are offering more eco-friendly choices than ever before. Green initiatives are affecting every facet of the carpet industry including manufacturing, distribution, as well as the disposal processes.
“Over time, the carpet industry is getting greener. But with manufacturing a consumer product, going green is not just one action. Rather it’s a commitment to a total review of the product and how it is manufactured, distributed, used and disposed of when the useful life is over,” says Dave Meyer, Owner of Mohawk Flooring.
The Whole is Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts
Manufacturing a truly green product, such as carpeting, requires intense research along with trial-and-error. Companies such as Mohawk have a significant commitment to making environmentally friendly products from beginning to end. Each step in the process is analyzed – from the selection of raw materials through product development, use, and finally disposal.
Below are some examples of green carpeting practices as provided by Mohawk Flooring:
Raw Materials: Renewable & Recyclable
- Recycled materials are contained in 500 different Mohawk products, including carpets, carpet tiles and cushion to laminates and ceramic tiles.
- Renewably sourced polymer made from corn sugar is used to make carpet fibers, replacing a finite resource (petroleum) with a renewable one, thus saving 10 million gallons of gas annually.
- Mohawk diverts more than 1.75 billion pounds of pre-consumer and post consumer waste from landfills each year through recycling fibers (with this figure growing annually).
- Renewable fast growing southern pine is used to create laminate products.
- Mohawk suppliers plant six times more trees than are harvested.
- All Mohawk laminate boards made in the United States contain 75% pre-consumer recycled content.
- The company reuses more than one billion pounds of waste wood in laminate and board production.
- 3 billion bottles a year (22 billion Since 1999) are recycled into carpet fiber and home textiles.
- 30 million pounds of tires are annually recycled into doormats by Mohawk alone (other manufacturers are doing the same in varying degrees).
- Any kind of latex-backed carpet regardless of the type of fiber (including polyester, polypropylene, PTT, nylon 6 and nylon 6,6) is recycled.
Reducing Manufacturing Waste
- Wood waste from manufacturing is used as biomass fuel for process heating.
- 100% of water from manufacturing process at most Mohawk ceramic tile facilities is reused and never discharged as waste water into surrounding watersheds.
- Thousands of trees are saved every year due to using plastic carpet cores made from recycled plastic.
“Any business that is going green has to have an inclusive plan and a commitment to carry it out,” says Meyer. “The flooring industry as a whole is following a green track, making changes where we can now, and putting into place the foundation for making even larger steps forward in the future. You can see that commitment in every area of the manufacturing, distribution and disposal processes.”
“To make things even better, we have never had products that are as durable, varied and colorful as what we presently provide to our customers,” continues Meyer. “It makes coming to work in the morning exciting.”