Global Recycling Day is organised by the Global Recycling Foundation and highlights the critical role that recycling has in preserving our natural resources and protecting the health of our planet. This year the theme is #RecyclingHeroes as the foundation looks to recognise the people, places and activities that demonstrate how recycling can contribute to ensuring an environmentally stable planet.
Many of the resources that we rely on for food and other basic necessities are finite and supplies will be totally exhausted in the near future if the rate of consumption is not slowed. Humans have consumed more resources in the last 50 years than in all previous history and due to increased consumption and a growing world population natural resources are now being used 1.75 times faster than the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate them.
Increasing the amount of material that is recycled can help reduce the pressure on the planet’s resources. In addition, recycling helps to curb energy usage and reduce carbon emissions. Annually recycling saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions worldwide and this figure is projected to reach 1 billion tonnes per year by 2030.
At Forbo we are always striving to reduce the environmental impact of our products and manufacturing processes and have implemented several initiatives to help do our part.
BACK TO THE FLOOR
We collect clean installation off-cuts of Forbo products for recycling back into our manufacturing. This reduces the demand for virgin resources, stops material being sent to landfill and, because it is offered free of charge, saves contractors money on disposal costs. We take off-cuts of Marmoleum, Flotex, Eternal, Tessera, Sphera, Modul'up and Sarlon smooth sheet vinyl and Allura LVT as well as Novilon cushioned vinyl.
SAVE A SAMPLE
Our Save a Sample scheme encourages customers to return samples to us once they have served their purpose. This allows the samples to be re-used or recycled rather than thrown away. The quality of the samples returned is so high that the vast majority of samples (approximately 85%) can be reused. This reduces the need to use more virgin materials and ultimately the amount of material going to landfill.
We also have links with a wide network of recycling companies and can bring customers and recyclers together so that uplifted carpet tiles can be recycled or reused. Contractors can speak to their local Forbo area sales manager for more information.
USING RECYCLED CONTENT
We also use recycled material in many of our ranges and are continually looking to increase these levels. For example, many of the products from our Coral range of entrance systems are made from ECONYL® – a high quality yarn made from 100% regenerated polyamide. Furthermore, the primary backing of Coral Welcome is made from recycled plastic PET bottles. The factory where Coral is made, alongside many other Forbo products, sends virtually zero waste to landfill and 100% of the aluminium, steel and rubber waste from our Nuway production is recycled.
Similarly, Flotex tiles and planks contain up to 52% recycled content, Tessera tiles now boast at least 57% recycled content and our vinyl ranges contain up to 70% recycled material in their backing.
Opposite: recycled rubber "pips" from the Nuway production process were used in a local community project near our Telford factory
CO2 NEUTRAL FLOORING
Carbon neutrality – or having a net zero carbon footprint – means that the carbon produced during the manufacturing process is sequestered by a similar amount, thus resulting in an overall neutral balance. A good example of this in the flooring industry is the production of some linoleum floor coverings, which are an extremely sustainable choice.
Linoleum is made from natural renewable materials that can be harvested from annual crops, such as flax and jute, or obtained as recycled wood from controlled forestry plantations. Created with ingredients including linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, limestone and jute – it’s possible for linoleum to be manufactured as a truly carbon neutral product in the cradle to gate stages of the product's life cycle without the need for carbon offsetting, because the natural materials absorb such high levels of CO2, while the production process itself requires comparatively little energy.