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Posts tagged 'Recycling'

Interface Global reduces its own GHG emissions by 92% (98% in Europe)

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I am very proud to present the following numbers:

At Interface Global we have reduced our own GHG emissions by 92% (98% in Europe) by a combination of halving our energy use (45% globally, 54% in Europe) and then using renewable electricity and renewable gas. Today getting to 100% renewable electricity is possible, access to biogas a bit more challenging but all serious companies should aim at 100% green energy. That’s why we have joined the RE 100. Yes, they don’t focus on gas yet but there are an increasing number of companies switching to 100% renewable electricity.

One of the indicators Im very fond of is achieving 50% of all our raw materials from recycled and bio sources. This includes making yarn from discarded fishing nets ormaking latex from recycled PVB from car windscreens. For every raw material there is an alternative which is recycled or low impact biobased. Our goal is to scavenge waste foremother industries and treat it as food for our products. We are now investing in flexile manufacturing, that is lines that are flexible enough to handle different recycled or bio sources. We hope we can get much closer to 100% by 2020. A big challenge.

That brings me to the idea of taking ownership of the embodied carbon from our products. Companies should not only decrease their own emissions but also decrease the emissions of their products’ carbon. In our case, it’s mostly embodied carbon from all the supply chain processes. In only 7 years, we have been able to decrease that entire chain embodied carbon by 31% globally (39% in Europe). Product design is the key in doing this. The same you can design a car so that it’s more efficient in the use phase, you can design a kg of cement or a m2 of carpet so that it’s more embodied carbon efficient.

2015 Global EcoMetrics Highlights

  • GHG emissions per unit of production is down 92 % since 1996
  • Energy use per unit of production is down 45 % since 1996
  • Renewable energy is 84 % of total energy use at manufacturing sites
  • Recycled and biobased materials now make up 50 % of total raw materials use
  • Water intake per unit of production is down 87 % since 1996
  • GHG emissions of entire supply chain and own production of our carpet is down 31 % on average since 2008

2015 European EcoMetrics Highlights

  • GHG emissions per unit of production is down 98 % since 1996
  • Energy use per unit of production is down 54 % since 1996
  • Renewable energy is 95 % of total energy use at manufacturing sites
  • Recycled and biobased materials now make up 50 % of total raw materials use
  • Water intake per unit of production is down 98 % since 1996 
  • No waste to landfill
  • GHG emissions of entire supply chain and own production of our carpet is down 39 % on average since 2008

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How to regulate plastics

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I had a very inspiring meeting organised by Globe EU ( at the EU parliament, hosted by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Ocean Plastic20 million tonnes of plastics end up in landfill and 4 m tonnes in energy recovery  while only 7 million go for recycling. But only are recycled 4 million of those 7 and they are normally downcycled. It was great to learn all these figures from Suez, including that China imports 9m of plastics and that 50% of the UK plastics go to China.

The issue of plastics will grow exponentially and in emerging markets the growth is becoming mind-blowing.

I fully support the EU commission that we need to change paradigm and think about product design first (instead of waste policies like in the past). Product design related policies were at the heart of the EU’s End of Pipe emissions for vehicles strategy and it has worked. In fact, it worked so well that some car markers were cheating it.

Here are some thoughts for future policies:

Incentivise high recycled content in products with lower taxes e.g.. get exempt VAT for a while

Use of green public procurement to buy more products with high recycled content

Much more aggressive policies to end landfill and massively decrease WTE for many waste streams (the market would react and create technologies to recycle)

Standardisation of packaging waste with good practice and standard materials

Helping develop voluntary standards that incentivise recycled content eg. in the construction industry standards such as LEED or BREEAM favour recycled content

Tax carbon (recycled content has lower footprint than virgin)

Dedicate more research to understand what incentives and knowledge are needed for product manufacturers to design better dissasemblable products

Dedicate more research to understand what are current and future recycling technologies and how these link to market barriers for the processed waste streams

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More on Net-Works – Recycling Initiative

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Net-Works is an initiative we helped set up that enables local residents in developing countries to collect discarded nets, which wreak havoc with the marine ecosystem, and sell them back into a global supply chain – giving those destructive, broken nets a second life as beautiful and long-lasting carpet tile.

The product of an unlikely partnership, the Net-Works programme is proof that when business, conservation, and communities innovate together, we can create positive, sustainable change.

Here is a great resource for more information. We would really appreciate your support and feedback. Click on the image to connect with the site and blog.


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Closing the net on a coastal problem via innovative remanufacturing

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Envirotec piece net-worksHere is a great piece of coverage for Net-Works thanks to Envirotec. The article discusses the worldwide positioning on waste and where we must make changes if we want to see a significant difference in future.

Our Net-Works initiative is used as a successful example of sourcing raw materials from discarded waste and remanufacturing it back into Interface carpet tiles.

Here is a small excerpt and the full article can be read here:

“Ramon Arratia, Sustainability Director at carpet tile manufacturer Interface, shares his own company’s experience of reusing waste products, via an innovative third-world project.
To create a circular economy, we must work with the mentality that ‘waste’ does not exist. Instead, when materials and products reach the end of their useful life, they go on to create something new, becoming a future raw material and re-entering the supply chain.

It’s best to eliminate waste at all stages of the product’s lifecycle. This might require thinking about how the raw materials are sourced and extracted, how the product is manufactured, its performance in use and what happens to it at the end of its life. Rather than being discarded as waste, the product should go on to be mined for its raw materials and remanufactured back into the supply chain.
It’s important to remember that waste is everywhere. An over-engineered product, for instance, can produce a significant amount of waste during production, not just after it has served its purpose. Businesses need to consider the whole life cycle of a product and rethink how the entire supply chain is functioning.

Widening the net to reduce waste By re-using materials and incorporating discarded waste into manufacturing, organisations can reduce their waste to landfill. In addition, if businesses work with the supply chain in a smart and inclusive way, recuperating waste can also have socio-economic benefits, such as creating jobs and income for disadvantaged communities.
To source new raw material from existing waste, Interface created the cross-sector initiative Net-Works in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and yarn manufacturer Aquafill.

The partnership is designed to tackle the growing problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities and undertakes the task of re-manufacturing the nets into carpet tiles.
Since its launch Net-Works has established a community-based supply chain, providing socio-economic benefits to local villagers and fishermen in the Philippines while successfully helping to clean up the area’s oceans and providing a continuous source of recycled materials for use in Interface’s carpet tiles.
While Net-Works demonstrates an innovative model for closing the manufacturing loop, it also provides a template for the future of sustainable manufacturing in the carpet tile industry and beyond.
Following the success of the programme in rural coastal areas of the Philippines, Net-Works is now rolling out to the Lake Ossa region of Cameroon.”

More here and via @envirotecmag

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Ocean Plastics Awareness Day – 22nd July

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Ocean Plastic

Today is ‘Ocean Plastics Awareness Day’

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be taking part in the event on Fistral Beach, Newquay.

“The Ocean Plastics Awareness Day offers NGOs, academia, local and national government and industry an opportunity to commit to exploring and delivering pilot circular economy projects that will prevent the flow of plastics to local beaches and reuse plastic waste removed by local cleansing activities.”

Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside in the UK. However, all too often they are blighted by litter. Signatories will support, explore and develop innovative circular economy pilot projects including:

* Reduction of Single Use Bottles: Increasing the number of accessible water fountains, for example at beaches, other tourist spots and university campuses, supported by additional voluntary action by café owners to give a discount to customers bringing their own reusable drinks containers. Other measures would be to improve plastic bottle recycling schemes in these locations, including introducing deposit return schemes and provide access to free re-useable drinks bottles.

* Fishing Net Collection & Recycling: The implementation of further innovative fishing net collection and recycling schemes to produce high quality, fully recyclable products such as carpet tiles and skateboards. Ocean Plastic Awareness Day:

* Plastic Product Innovation: Working with industry to close the loop on plastic marine litter by developing and delivering innovative collaborations to reuse (marine) plastic waste as part of useful, durable and recyclable products from clothing to car parts.

Signatories: Surfers Against Sewage, The Marine Conservation Society, Clean Cornwall, Cornwall Rural Community Charity, Cornwall’s Fisheries Local Action Group, Plymouth University, Plymouth University – Marine Institute, Plymouth University – Sustainability & Surfing Group, Newquay Junior Academy Finisterre, Keep Britain Tidy, Riz Boardshorts, The UK Deposit Alliance, World Animal Protection, Interface, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Divers Against Debris, The Cornish Seal Sanctuary and The Zoological Society of London.

Read the letter of intent and next actions here.

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The answer is : the plastic film used in windscreens !

Interface is launching the world’s first recycled latex substitute using laminate found in car glass.

Driven by its commitment to Mission Zero, Interface has developed a method for using recycled poly-vinyl butyral (PVB) to replace the existing latex precoat widely used in the carpet tile industry to fix the yarn to the backing.

PVB is the laminate found in glass which prevents it from shattering, and is most commonly found in car windscreens. The industry has been recycling this type of glass for some time but had found no solution for recycling the PVB.

Working alongside new and old partners, including Shark Solutions, Interface invested 10 years of research in developing the ground-breaking process and, as a result of this co-innovation, PVB has been given a second life in a new, sustainable supply chain.

PVB has a carbon footprint that is 80 per cent less than the existing latex precoat used in the industry. Interface Europe currently uses 43 per cent of recycled
or bio-based raw materials and the Mission Zero goal is 100 per cent by 2020.

The new material will bring Interface’s use of recycled or bio-based raw materials to 66 per cent when applied to all products and, as such, in the next two years, Interface believes products with up to 90 per cent recycled or biobased content will be achievable.

Follow this newsfeed with #carpetcar

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A Quick Net-Works Update In Numbers

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Nets-being-loaded-in-SubaThe Net-Works programme is an initiative delivered by us and ZSL designed to create a solid business solution with long-term positive impacts on marine and freshwater ecosystems, while also providing financial opportunities to some of the poorest people in the world.

Net-Works enables fishing communities in developing countries to sell waste nets back into a global supply chain. We receive a fully recycled source of nylon for carpet tile production, and the local community receives long-term incentives to protect their natural environment.

Here are the latest facts and figures, a special mention to the distance of nets metric, which I think is impressive.

Nets collected in the Philippines: 61.845kg

Distance of nets: 57,516km

Nets recycled into nylon: 41,800kg

No. of meals equivalent to nets collected: 194,500

Households reached: 892 (representing 4,460 people)

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Net-Works – 9 tons of fishing nets arrives in Slovenia for recycling

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At the end of last month a container ship with 9 tons of fishing nets arrived in Slovenia from the Philippines. These monofilament nets were recovered by local villagers participating in the Net-Works™ project. Net-Works is a community-based initiative established by us and the Zoological Society to recover and recycle fishing nets from fishing villages in impoverished regions, connecting some of the dots for a more circular economy.

Over 660 million people on the planet depend upon the oceans to support their livelihood. But year after year, pollution in our waters and beaches gets worse.

Net-Works is the first step in creating a truly restorative loop in carpet tile production, cleaning up oceans and beaches while also creating financial opportunities for some of the poorest people in the world.

If you Google #IfNetEffect there are some great online spaces that capture the initiative in pictures, video and text. Like this Pinterest Board:

IfNetEffect Pinterest


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