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Recycle or Downcycle? – Don’t be confused

How often do you come across the term ‘recyclable’ when buying products? Quite often I’d say. In these environmentally conscious times manufacturers are proud to tell their customers that when their product is no longer needed it can be broken down and turned into other useful things.

The more times something can be recycled the better, but eventually most of the materials being re-used in this cycle will end up as landfill. This is because every time a product or material is recycled it loses some quality or some parts that cannot be recycled.

Eventually this cycle of reusing a material will create low grade material that cannot be turned into anything useful and will end up in landfill (assuming it doesn’t go straight in the bin or is dumped by the roadside in the first place).

So what actually is happening to most things labelled as recyclable is downcycling.

In Interior Design, where many products and materials are changed simply because of fashion and not because they have reached the end of their life, the concept of recycling is even more important.

The NDA Foundation is proud to announce its newest industry partner, The Shaw Contract group, has produced the worlds first fully recyclable carpet. Using the concept of Cradle to Cradle these carpets can be completely broken down to produce brand new carpets with no waste.

Shaw has reclaimed and reused more carpets than any other carpet firm, its Cradle to Cradle Certification evaluates and improves products by thoroughly assessing and optimizing materials and production processes. Certification means a healthy, safe, efficient and quality product that is recyclable again and again.

So if your clients are environmentally conscious (shame on them if they are not) then  Shaw Contract Group carpets and hardwood flooring are a good place to start.

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