It is important that we are responsible in the chain of custody of our products. With landfill being both expensive and the least green of options for waste, recycling is a key element of Polyflor's closed loop operations.
Polyflor is exceptionally committed to the recycling of its post production waste and its post consumer waste, supporting voluntary industry-wide commitments. We are active members of various initiatives including EPFLOOR, the European Flooring Manufacturers' Sector Group, which was formed to increase post consumer waste recycled in Western Europe and Recovinyl, a scheme which provides financial incentives to support the collection of PVC waste from the non-regulated PVC waste streams. Recovinyl is also an initiative of VinylPlus (formerly Vinyl 2010*), another European initiative of which Polyflor is a member. VinylPlus is the new ten-year Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry, which looks to tackle all sustainability challenges for PVC. Each of the challenges is based on The Natural Step System, with step one focusing on Controlled-Loop Management.
Key objectives for this stage include:
- Recycle 800,000 tonnes/year of PVC by 2020
- Exact definitions and reporting concept to be available by end 2011
- Develop and exploit innovative technology to recycle 100,000 tonnes/year of difficult-to-recycle PVC material (within the overall 800,000 tonnes/year recycling target) by 2020
- Address the issue of legacy additives and deliver a status report within each annual VinylPlus Progress Report
- Specific to vinyl flooring, Polyflor is also a proud funding and founding member of Recofloor, the waste vinyl flooring recycling scheme which is available throughout the UK. By providing an accessible and efficient facility for waste vinyl to be reclaimed or recycled, Recofloor helps prevent post consumer waste from going to landfill. We also recycle glass which is post consumer waste, combined with the aggregates, into many of our Polysafe products.
In the Future
Polyflor will stay committed to recycling end of life vinyl through VinylPlus and the Recofloor scheme, which joined the voluntary WRAP led ‘Halving Waste to Landfill’, a programme that aims to halve construction waste sent to landfill by 2012. We will also continue to invest significantly in the systems for collection, sorting, granulation and storage to ensure capacity and capability for dealing with the anticipated growth in the volumes of post consumer waste we recycle.*
*Vinyl 2010 achieved its 10 year target of recycling 240,000 tonnes of post consumer construction vinyl - it acually recycled 260,842.
The flooring industry is not bound by law to recycle waste, but we are actively seeking to recover and recycle post consumer waste vinyl flooring to minimise our and the flooring industry's environmental impact and close the loop of our product's life cycles.
Why Take Part?
|Yes Please||No Thanks|
|Post installation, clean vinyl off-cuts (smooth or safety vinyl)||Non vinyl flooring including linoleum, laminate, carpet or flooring with jute / fabric backing|
|Old stock vinyl roll-ends & samples (smooth or safety vinyl)||General waste including asbestos, rubble, wood, blades, nails, screws etc|
|Smooth uplifted flooring – depending on condition and quality||Liquids|
- Recofloor comes at an important time given the Government's recent legislation of site waste management plans
- Customers are keen to see their flooring recycled at the end of its life
- Certificates of Commitment are awarded to impress and gain new contracts with their green credentials
- Recofloor Awards - Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are issued to members who have significantly recycled
- Recofloor specified as an outlet for vinyl waste in tenders
- Could help achieve extra waste credits for BREEAM & CSH
- Using our drop-off sites is free of charge for collections and timed collections there are nominal fees, but this could still save our members around 60% by recycling through Recofloor, rather than landfilling
The majority of our collections currently come from within the UK where transport to our factory is straightforward, using the same delivery vehicles as they return to site. In international markets there is a varying progress in recycling, especially where distances are large and logistics of any recycling operation more complex. National legislation and local attitudes also play a major part in the implementation of recycling.
A long history in Scandinavia of recycling, assisted by legislation to ensure waste is segregated on site, means there is a higher volume of post installation waste. In Norway and Sweden, Polyflor have established schemes to collect and recover vinyl waste from site. This material may either be delivered to Polyflor on return transport for recycling or often more practically, the waste has been sent to other local vinyl flooring manufacturers for them to recycle into new flooring. In Germany the AgPR vinyl recycling facility has been in use for a number of years, offering an outlet for post installation vinyl waste for many manufacturers and contractors. This waste is then supplied to various vinyl flooring manufacturers in Europe, including Polyflor.
Recently Polyflor Australia has set up local collection scheme which is running very effectively. Similarly in Ireland, the facility to recover waste from larger projects has been put in place and with the Recofloor scheme now up and running in Ireland, with various distributors on board and drop off sites available, logistically it is relatively simple for this waste to be delivered to Polyflor for recycling.
Polyflor in South Africa has made great progress with recycling commitments. One of many members of the Southern African Vinyl Association (SAVA), a commitment to increase responsibility and sustainability within the PVC industry as a whole is very positive, but similar to the VinylPlus scheme in Europe, one of the key challenges outlined within this product stewardship programme is the commitment to increase recycling. By 1st January 2013, SAVA aims to achieve the following:
- Recycle 99% of all waste produced by PVC resin manufacturers
- Recycle 95% of all waste produced by primary converters in the PVC industry
- Recycle 90% of all waste produced by secondary converters in the PVC industry
- Increase recycling of post consumer PVC-P to 15,000 tonnes per annum
- Increase recycling of post consumer PVC-U to 5,000 tonners per annum