Biodegradable Carpet

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Biodegradable Carpet
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According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), an estimated 500,000 tonnes of carpet go to landfill every year. Not only are the petrochemicals and plastics used to make them lost, but these products take up space and have the potential to leach chemicals into the surrounding environment. In response to this societal issue, Renewal Carpet Tiles made a product that they marketed on the basis that it is biodegradable in landfill. This carpet tile consisted of RENEWGEL®, a backing made from an undisclosed mixture of “rubber and natural minerals” (rather than bitumen, PVC or carbon black), and tuft made from nylon yarn with high recycled content. 

Technically, all materials are biodegradable, given enough time. In order to be classified as compostable, plastics have to biodegrade within a strict and standardised time frame, but materials producers and waste managers are still struggling to define a time frame for biodegradability. As such, it means very little to simply state that a material is ‘biodegradable’ without specifying the precise conditions required for its biodegradation. This rubber backing supposedly biodegrades in the anaerobic conditions of landfill, but it is quite likely that this process produces methane gas, which may or may not be harvested by the landfill site. The plastics industry is currently witnessing a shift in interest away from biodegradable materials and towards bio-based plastics (made from non-petroleum feedstocks), and perhaps as a result, this Lancashire-based company went into administration in August 2011.

Sample ID: 326


Renewal Carpet Tiles Ltd.
Anaerobic | Biodegradable | Carpet | Failed | Mineral | Nylon | Recycled | Rubber

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