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Flooring industry walks the walk for circular economy

Manufacturing News

Australia’s flooring industry from manufacturers to installers have taken the first step towards a circular economy approach to flooring.

The Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA) has released the proposed design for ResiLoop, Australia’s first national stewardship scheme for resilient flooring.

More than 40 key stakeholders including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, installers, and specifiers as well as influential ecolabels and industry associations signed a Collective Action Statement, which endorses their new industry-wide approach.

AFRA President Dan Lovell urged participants in the local flooring industry to join the scheme.

Lovell said: “We’ve been buoyed by the incredible support we’ve had for our Collective Action Statement on flooring waste, which builds momentum for the scheme and its implementation.

”ResiLoop is a clear demonstration of the commitment and collaboration to develop and implement a solution. Only through collective action, will we have an enduring and measurable impact.

“Suppliers, contractors, retailers, installers and builders all have something to benefit from this programme.”

Resilient floorcoverings such as sheet vinyl, linoleum or rubber, vinyl tiles and hybrid tiles, are durable products with use lifespans of 30 years or so.

While much of the growth of the market has been through imports, ResiLoop’s goal is to develop an industry-supported process to recover and recycle waste from these products in Australia.

It is estimated that the construction industry generates about 9,000 tonnes of resilient flooring waste from installations every year and the scheme will aim to recycle at least 1,000 tonnes annually.

It is expected that recycling rates will increase as the scheme expands and attracts new participants and as it develops end markets for the recycled materials and solutions for the more challenging end-of-life waste streams.

The scheme is supported by funding from the Australian Government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund.

The scheme concept is also supported by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Image: Australian Resilient Flooring Association

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