To close the loop, you have to be able to take used goods back and recycle or reuse the materials. To achieve this you must:
- Develop Take BackTM technology to receive used materials and recycle the materials
- Create products with the right purity that can be recycled at high levels.
We list below some of the milestones in our journey to closing the loop, bringing us closer to our 2020 Cradle to Cradle® vision.
Milestone 1 - Going Silver
In 2010, just two years after the start of Desso's new Cradle to Cradle® strategy, we received Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certification for DESSO EcoBase®, a new carpet tile backing. DESSO EcoBase®' backing was checked against tough environmental and human health criteria with up to 97% of the materials classified as positively defined. Positively defined means that all the ingredients were assessed as either Green (optimal) or Yellow (tolerable) according to the Cradle to Cradle® assessment criteria. The polyolefin based layer of the DESSO EcoBase® backing is 100% safely recyclable in our own production process.
Milestone 2 - DESSO Take Back™ & Refinity®
Millions of square metres of worn-out carpet are thrown away
every year, often burned or dumped at landfill sites, leading to
the destruction of valuable raw materials. In 2008, Desso launched
its Take Back™ programme and one year later, developed an
innovative separation technique called DESSO Refinity®.
Through Refinity® we take back old carpets (provided they don't contain PVC) and separate the yarn and other fibres from the backing. This creates two main material streams: the yarn which is sent back to our suppliers for recycling and the bitumen (currently the most common material for carpet backing), which is sold to the road and roofing industry. All non-recyclable fractions are used as secondary fuel in the cement industry.
Those who send back carpets and participate in our programme receive a Take Back™ certificate as a guarantee that the material is recycled according to Cradle to Cradle® principles.
Milestone 3 - Using recycled yarn
One of our suppliers, Aquafil has developed proprietary
technology to recycle old Polyamide 6 yarn from used carpets into
new material known as ECONYL® over and over again.
Today, Over 50%1) of our carpet tile range is available with ECONYL® yarn. ECONYL® is a yarn which is made from 100% regenerated nylon including post-consumer yarn waste from DESSO's Refinity® plant.
1) 50% relates to the 2012 sales volume of products available with ECONYL® yarn in the commercial carpet tile collection. The total % of recycled content varies per product and per colour. Whether a colour contains ECONYL® yarn and the exact % thereof can be found on our website.