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CRUK conference: repurposing textile flooring in the circular economy

MOVES by the textile flooring sector to redefine itself along more environmentally conscious principles will be among key topics for discussion at Carpet Recycling UK’s (CRUK) much-anticipated annual conference, dinner, and awards event at the Voco St John’s Solihull on 29-30 June 2022.

Through its 115-strong membership (a record high), 11 core funders, and extensive UK-wide and international outreach, the not-for-profit association is helping the sector create new circular initiatives, having recognised a clear change in attitudes among key decisionmakers towards sustainable solutions in all markets.

Delegates at the first in-person conference for three years will be updated on achievements, developments, policy and legislative changes, and technology advances in the sector in relation to sustainability, design for recycling, and waste reduction for textile flooring.

The event will also provide sponsorship opportunities for organisations to promote and demonstrate their green credentials, plus an exhibitor area for showcasing products or ranges.

The annual awards ceremony will celebrate important contributions by CRUK’s growing membership – both individuals and organisations – who continue to advance sustainability in the textile flooring sector. The awards will reward members’ proactivity in relation to environmental sustainability, innovation, and success in recovering carpet for new uses.

This year, a new ‘circular design’ award category has been added to recognise advances in design for the circular economy. Along with the categories recycler of the year; reuse member of the year; takeback partner of the year; and recycling champion of the year, it’s open to applications from CRUK members.

CRUK’s conference will offer its members and wider network dissemination and networking opportunities for UK, EU, and international decisionmakers from across the supply chain. Returning as keynote speaker and CRUK awards presenter will be Bob Peoples, executive director of the US-based Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and Edmund Vankann, managing director of the European Carpet and Rug Association, who’ll deliver updates on policy developments, technological advances, challenges, and progress at a US and European level.

Results will be shared from a 2020 comprehensive landfill diversion survey being done in conjunction with analysts Oakdene Hollins demonstrating the various outlets compared against the volume of textile flooring placed on the market that year. Oakdene Hollins will also present the two new research projects commissioned by CRUK on Circular Design and existing and future Recycling Technologies for textile flooring waste.

Returning member Aquafil will outline their international and UK plans to capture and recycle carpet polymers for new textile flooring, and Tarkett will talk about their established UK ReStart programme for the takeback of commercial flooring in the circular economy. The benefits of CRUK membership in winning new work will be covered by David Heafey of Saint Flooring.

Adnan Zeb-Khan, CRUK scheme manager comments: ‘Our packed two-day conference programme highlights the sector’s clear change in attitudes and commitment towards sustainable solutions and progress towards creating more circular opportunities within the sector. This is reflected in a growth of enquiries from companies concerned about the impact of their business activities, waste being produced and the desire to reduce this for environmental and reduced disposal costs reasons.

‘It’s been a while, but we are looking forward to welcoming lots of familiar and new faces at our 2022 conference where we can share numerous exciting, sustainable and important developments for our sector.’

CRUK’s core funders are Balsan, Betap, Brintons, Cormar, ege Carpets, Headlam Group, Milliken, Shaw, and Tarkett, along with new members in 2022 – Gradus and Furlong Flooring. The core funders are showing leadership in the sector on developing for the circular economy, helping their customers with increased sustainable ranges and through CRUK to reduce their waste.

Latest CRUK figures revealed that pre-Covid, the industry was diverting about 65% of textile flooring waste from landfill. About 430,000 tonnes of carpet and textile flooring waste arises annually in the UK.

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