World first for Cavalier Bremworth with new recycled backing

16 August 2012

Using a pioneering process, New Zealand wool carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth is launching a new carpet backing made from recycled wool carpet in its entirety.   Developed over two years in conjunction with Auckland-based Textile Products, Flashbac will be introduced onto Cavalier Bremworth carpet ranges made from today.

flashbac container 

Strong international interest is already being shown in the product and the company says there is significant potential for export of the backing as a stand-alone product to offshore carpet manufacturers.

Spokesperson for Cavalier Bremworth, Desiree Keown, said the new backing will replace the existing imported jute and will see around 1200 tonnes of waste carpet diverted away from landfill each year.  That would be the equivalent of covering an entire rugby field up to 6.5 metres deep if the carpet was laid flat.

"We expect to see our use of waste carpet grow substantially as production expands, exports develop, and the public get in behind the take-back scheme.   There is a potential waste stream of around 5000 tonnes a year so that gives us a great opportunity to produce significant quantities for export."

Special carpet recycling containers have been placed at four Envirowaste public transfer stations throughout Auckland and the price has been dropped for disposal.

"We recognise that carpet is a heavy, expensive item to dispose of, costing around $200 a tonne to discard. Under the Flashbac recycling scheme, clean carpet waste will only cost $75 + GST per tonne to get rid of at the four Envirowaste centres," said Ms Keown.

The New Zealand Green Building Council is very supportive of the new initiative. CEO Alex Cutler said it was "great to see one of our members taking a lead on improving the sustainable credentials of their product and diverting waste from landfill."

Envirowaste and Cavalier Bremworth have signed up a number of Auckland carpet retailers to participate in the carpet take-back process.  Specially marked bins are being placed on their premises for wool carpet that has been uplifted as part of a replacement contract.

Both major flooring retail groups – Flooring Xtra and Flooring Brands are enthusiastic about the Flashbac recycling scheme.

Don Barry, spokesperson for Flooring Xtra said that Flashbac was a great kiwi ingenuity story and Cavalier Bremworth had every right to be excited about its launch.  "Flooring Xtra fully supports the initiative.  Landfill is a major environmental issue in New Zealand. Cavalier Bremworth's closed loop solution demonstrates strong leadership in this area and a positive contribution to our community."

Rodney Martin, Chairman and CEO of Flooring Brands, Carpet Court and the Floorstore, also commended the environmental innovation; "Flashbac looks like a great product which sits well with Flooring Brands' attitude to innovation. It will be installer friendly, easy on the paintwork, and good for the environment."

Ms Keown said the new recycled carpet backing had been extensively tested and performed better than jute.

"We tested it in a three-month trial in school corridors at New Zealand's biggest school – Rangitoto College – and it worked extremely well.

"As well as having excellent fire resistance, thermal and sound insulation properties, it is slightly thicker than jute and much softer which means less damage to skirtings and walls when carpet is being installed," she said.

"It also produces very low air emissions through our backing plant compared to the jute, which is another environmental positive."

Ms Keown said the product had potential well beyond the New Zealand and Australian carpet market, and discussions were under way with carpet makers in the US.

NOTE:  Envirowaste transfer stations with Flashbac recycling bins are located at:

WIRI:  Cnr Wiri Station Rd and Langley Rd

CONSTELLATION DRIVE: 4 Home Place, Mairangi Bay

PUKEKOHE: 10 Austen Place

AVONDALE: 114 Patiki Rd