A partnership between Textile Recyclers Australia and Karie Soehardi Consultancy, named TRAKS, has announced two trial programs for 2022 attempting to address the unmet need for repurposing discarded rugs and soft furnishing industry waste.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, roughly 800,000 tonnes of textile, leather and rubber waste was thrown out in 2018/19, with all but 24 per cent of it ending up in landfill.
“The industry is becoming increasingly aware of its environmental footprint but the cost of setting up company take-back schemes is cost-prohibitive,” said TRA co-founder Maureen Taylor in a statement on Monday.
“Many companies want to do the right thing, but they rarely have the resources to devote to research and setting up a recycling pathway on their own.”
The first program is in partnership with Armadillo, and will see collection, sorting and processing of rugs, with help from participating rug companies. Rugs would be collected and/or delivered, for a fee, to TRAKS, which would process them locally, then have the material transformed into yarn off-shore.
According to TRAKS, Armadillo and 15 other rug companies had committed to rolling out the program.
The initiative also intends to roll out a second trial next year, across ANZ and with the assistance of James Dunlop Textiles, and focussing on the soft furnishings industry.
Commercial pathways to process furnishing textiles hadn’t existed, and much had therefore ended up in landfill, said Karie Soehardi, founder of KS Consultancy.
“The scale of the problem is staggering, for example a simple ordering mistake could lead to many units of cushions ending up in waste streams. Or if the drapery for a hotel turns up in the wrong shade, an entire shipment can end up in a skip,” said Soehardi.
Picture: Planet Ark
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