press release Colbond: new partnership set to reduce carbon footprint op carpet industry

Arnhem, the Netherlands (January 3, 2011) – The carpet industry could soon benefit from 100% recycled carpet yarns and backings thanks to a new strategic partnership between two leading manufacturers.

Aquafil, a European market leader in carpet yarn manufacturing, textile yarn production and polymer engineering and Colbond, the global leading producer and supplier of nonwoven primary carpet backings, today announced the formation of a strategic partnership that will enhance the environmental sustainability of the carpet industry. Colbond will use Aquafil’s Econyl, post-industrial and post-consumer recycled polyamide-6, to extend its range of environmentally friendly carpet backings. A substantial and growing part of Econyl is generated from carpet waste.

Aquafil is a pioneer in the recycling of polyamide-6 waste and has invested significant funds in the development of dedicated industrial plants. With its “Econyl” process, the company has closed the loop of carpet waste recovery by using carpet yarn as the primary raw material for polyamide and finished BCF (bulked continuous filament) yarn.

Colbond launched the industry’s first nonwoven carpet backing made of post-consumer recycled polyester in 2007 and is continually seeking for new opportunities to further improve the sustainability of its processes and products. Following intense joint Research & Development work, Colbond will be producing its new environmentally sustainable nonwovens containing recycled polyamide-6 (rPA-6) derived exclusively from Aquafil’s “Econyl” process. Branded “Colback Green”, these innovative backings comprise bi-component filaments with a post-consumer recycled bottle scrap PET core and an Econyl rPA-6 skin.

“By sourcing polyamide produced in Aquafil’s innovative “Econyl” process, we can now produce a 100% sustainable Colback primary backing”, said Harry Verbakel, Director Sales & Marketing, Colbond. “And by using rPA-6, derived from carpet waste, in the production of carpet yarn and carpet backings, the first recycling loop has been created for the face side of carpet tiles and broadloom carpet.”

“This is an enormous step forward in reducing the carbon footprint of the carpet industry”, said Bruno Torresani, Managing Director Aquafil BCF. “Aquafil and Colbond are joining forces to reduce the consumption of crude oil-based raw materials whilst also helping to solve a significant part of the industry’s waste concerns.”

Colbond will officially launch the Econyl-based “Colback Green” primary backing product range at the Domotex tradeshow, which will be held in January in Hanover (Germany). “We’re very proud that our nonwoven primary backing range for carpet tiles, dust control mats, broadloom carpet, car mats and even molded car carpets is expanding to include 100% recycled content variants, thanks to our new exclusive partnership with Aquafil,” said Harry Verbakel.

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