ATLANTA, Ga., Oct. 28, 2004 – It’s been ten years since Interface founder Ray Anderson first introduced his company’s journey to sustainability — an early vision that appears to be paying off. The company recently announced that nearly 60 million pounds of carpet has been reclaimed since 1995 through ReEntry, its aggressive carpet-reclamation program.
"Rather than abandon over 30 years and 250 million pounds of vinyl backing already in the marketplace, Interface has made a commitment to recycle carpet backing," said John Wells, president of Interface Flooring Systems. "Year after year growth of our ReEntry program validates that carpet recycling is not only the right thing to do, but something that the marketplace is demanding as well. It is good business."
ReEntry tracks carpet collected from sites across the U.S. As of June 2004, the program has reclaimed 57 million pounds of carpet, of which: 52% has been recycled as GlasBacoRE, the Interface recycled vinyl backing system. Of the carpet that has been recycled. 40% has been used for energy capture and conversion, or converted from waste to energy. While not as preferable as pure recycling, this process keeps the product out of the landfill. Eight percent has been repurposed, having been removed before the end of its useful life, carpet is donated to a nonprofit organization.
Addressing concerns about vinyl, Wells stresses that Interface has made a commitment to exit all virgin petro-chemically derived materials in its processes. "Science shows us that when vinyl is used as intended, it has no negative health effects," explains Wells. "Reclaiming it helps us begin to close the loop and acknowledges that there is a bounty of vinyl-backed carpet out there for which someone must take responsibility. Interface has committed to exit all virgin petro-chemically derived materials (not just vinyl). Any material that relies on virgin petrochemicals has an inherently negative impact on the environment."