World Environment Day 2021: Here’s how this company is recycling plastic waste into elegant carpets 

World Environment Day 2021: Here’s how this company is recycling plastic waste into elegant carpets 

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The environment that we live in is very important not only for our health but also for our future generation, so it is each and every human being’s responsibility to protect it. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, India generates 3.3 million metric tons of plastic per year. While India’s plastic waste problem is not as huge as that of the rich world but is growing year on year. It is each and every Indian responsibility to control it on its own. In India, unique efforts have been taken by the government too to control the pollution. Likewise, many private companies are recycling the waste and converting it into different yet elegant products.

As we approach the world Environment Day 2021, Financial Express Online had a discussion Richard Morris, Global Business Director, Carpets Inter who recycle ocean plastic bottles waste and convert them into carpets. Get to know more interesting facts related to plastic waste. Excerpts:

Brief about the company and what type of carpet do you offer?

Carpets Inter are a diversified international manufacturer of all Carpet types located in Thailand and are publicly traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand under TCM Corporation Public Company Limited. We create carpet that delivers beauty and efficiency for our customers, whilst ensuring our planet is environmentally sustainable. Our commitment ranges from the personal scale of making each occupied space more habitable through indoor air quality, acoustic suppression, aesthetic appeal, durability and underfoot comfort, to the Global scale of making our World a more habitable place to exist.

Our commitment to ecological sustainability extends beyond our product. We practice it in everything we do – from manufacturing facilities that maintain the highest environmental standards, to reducing our carbon footprint in every facet of our global business.

Since 2004, Carpets Inter has recycled over 0.8 Billion single-use plastic PET bottles, into our EcoSoft® modular backing, averting harmful pollution into landfill and our ecosystems waterways in support of Ocean Clean-up. We achieved zero waste to landfill and are completely self-sustainable in water supply & treatment. We repurpose and donate 100% of the sediment deposited from our on-site water & human waste sewage treatment plant in cooperation with the leading Thai brand of organic agricultural fertilizer. Organic fertilizer is free from harmful pesticides and provides a cost effective alternative to the Thai Farming community. Contributing to the fertile growth of thousands of acres of crop yields, such as pineapple, sugarcane, cassava and systematic tree planting, natures inherent process of photosynthesis and the soil’s regenerative natural ability to sequester CO²provides natural filtration of harmful CO² from our atmosphere back into the ground. We do this because the best solution to combat climate change is the regenerative power of our soil.

Carpets Inter EcoSoft tiles enable a Carbon capture process to take place, as for every 5m2 of EcoSoft® Carpet Tiles there is 2.4kg of Carbon recycled.

India’s plastic waste crisis is too big; do you think you can contribute towards it through the idea?

We already have been since 2004. Unfortunately, India is one of the largest global polluters of plastic waste into our Oceans, with an estimated 535Kg of plastic garbage spewed out from the River Ganges each year. Through sales of our unique EcoSoft® PET recycle cushion backed modular carpet tiles, we have recycled over 0.8 Billion single-use plastic PET bottles already and donate sales proceeds to the non-profit organization Ocean Clean-up.

What type of technology are you using to provide soft and irritation free carpets?

Striking a balance between hard wearing and soft to touch depends on the construction and fiber used for a particular purpose. By manufacturing all types of construction in alternative low VOC materials, available in rolls and modules, enables CI to customize ‘fit for purpose’ and healthy flooring solutions. All CI products meet global green standards, as our manufacturing plant in Thailand is the most environmentally conformant carpet manufacturing facility in the world.Products are Anti-microbial ‘Sanitized®’ treated as standard with anti-viral treatment now an option, meeting the critical low VOC standards required under the globally recognized Well Building recognition.

Future of Carpet industry and its challenges in India?

Post Covid, the international manufacturers are under huge pressure by Governments, the MNC’s and leading Architects to aim for Carbon Neutral in support of mitigating Greenhouse gases to reduce Climate change. Manufacturers should be responsible in both environmentally sustainable practices, and in their CSR programs. Peer pressure by the India Governments mission to conform to global Climate change programs such as the plastic credit model or Paris Agreement, the US U-turn post Trump towards combating climate change will take local manufacturers to task. Conformance is possible, but it comes with a price, and that is added into the cost of the installed product.

We believe that post Covid pandemic all Associates working within and enclosed occupied space will question if their working environments are truly healthy, meaning floorcoverings certified with low VOC, sanitized anti-microbial properties, increased acoustical suppression and underfoot comfort will set a new expectation and parameter to local manufacturers responsibility to conform.

What are your future plans?

Our new ØFlowSoft anti-viral & anti-microbial healthcare product launching Mid 2021 utilizing recycled PET EcoSoft® back will revolutionize floorcoverings for Aged Care, Senior Living, Education and Wellbeing facilities. Our investors continue to support sustained growth and new ventures for Wall Acoustic, again manufactured with 100% Recycled PET Plastic Bottles to provide unsurpassed and affordable acoustical solutions combining the high performance of both our cushion back modular flooring and wall acoustic panels.

Come back plan post pandemic; how are you planning to sustain & what are your market strategy?

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the manufacturing community has been hard hit with raw material increase, increased global shipping charges and impact from reduced business in prior 12 months, however at Carpets inter we continue to commit to providing ecological sustainable products, and work together with the Architectural, PMC & MNC community towards providing healthier occupied spaces in a manner that protects the environment. Whilst larger competitor manufacturers are still exiting covid hibernation, we have recently launched 3 new modular flooring collections and another 3 by mid-2021, all of which have an environmental reuse, repurpose, recycle and environmental theme to them.

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