Desso, the global carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches company, today announced its participation in 'Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear,’ the multi-industry initiative aimed at removing marine waste, particularly fishing nets, for the purpose of creating healthier seas. Desso says it will turn the recycled marine litter into ECONYL® yarn for use in new carpets.
As part of its commitment to recycling healthy materials into its carpet products, Desso has also worked with Aquafil, one of its key suppliers and a co-founder of the Healthy Seas initiative, which developed the capability to recycle old Polyamide 6 yarn from used carpets and fishnets into new material, known as ECONYL® yarn, over and over again.
Today, the Dutch carpet maker says over 90 percent of its commercial carpet tile collection is Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) certified and over 50 percent of its carpet tiles contain ECONYL® yarn, made from 100 percent regenerated nylon including post-consumer yarn waste from DESSO's Refinity® plant.
"Since 2010, we have been using ECONYL® yarn in many of our carpet products as part of our ongoing commitment to the circular economy powered by Cradle to Cradle® principles," says Desso CEO Alexander Collot d'Escury. "We are delighted to combine our commitment to using recycled content such as ECONYL® with the critical task of helping to clean up the seas."
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"The Cradle to Cradle® vision is to design products and services that make the world better than it was before," Collot d'Escury says. "The way the oceans have been fished — leaving waste behind and harming sea life and the environment — is a stark example of bad design. We are delighted to support the Healthy Seas initiative, which fits in with Desso's commitment to developing a business model that utilises waste in order to create healthy new materials and at the same time make a positive impact on the planet."
"We are delighted to have Desso's support for the Healthy Seas initiative," says Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil, and a co-founder of the Healthy Seas initiative. "It is fitting that our largest customer of ECONYL® yarn in Europe and one of the companies that has been leading the way in terms of Cradle to Cradle® and the circular economy should be involved in this critical project to clean up the seas and turn waste into an economic benefit."
Fellow sustainable carpet maker Interface became the first flooring company to join Healthy Seas in October.
According to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), there are approximately 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the oceans, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. These discarded nets can remain in the sea for centuries continuing to catch or injure marine life such as fish, dolphins, turtles and marine birds (known as ghost fishing). Healthy Seas aims to provide a solution by bringing together businesses, NGOs, divers, fishermen and other stakeholders to recover the fishing nets and upcycle them into carpets, socks, swimwear, underwear and other items.