Complex Made Simple

Desso launches carpet Take Back programme in Middle East

International law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan, signs up for sustainable office refurb with worn-out carpet tiles recycled at dedicated Dutch facility

Desso, a Tarkett company, a leading European carpet manufacturer with its Middle East & Africa regional headquarters in Dubai, has launched its carpet Take BackTM programme in the region with international commercial law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan, the first client to sign up for the unique recycling initiative.


The firm chose to refresh its Downtown Dubai-located office flooring using Desso’s patented AirMaster® product, which is able to capture and retain potentially harmful fine dust particles, lowering the concentration in an indoor environment by as much as eight times, compared with smooth flooring solutions, and four times lower than with standard carpet.


Under the Take BackTM agreement, Desso removed the firm’s existing 3,500-kilogramme carpet, and sent it to the company’s Refinity® Plant in Holland for recycling. Desso also presented Holman Fenwick Willan with a Take BackTM certificate to guarantee that material is recycled according to its corporate Cradle to Cradle® principles.


“According to Dubai Municipality, the emirate produces around 7,000 tonnes of general waste each day – the equivalent of nine Olympic-sized swimming pools – of which, 35% of the total generated waste sent to UAE landfills is considered to be recyclable, there is a clear need for companies as well as individuals to do more to reduce this figure,” said Andre Dulka, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa & India, Desso.


The city’s Al Qusais municipal landfill is predicted to reach full capacity by 2021 and with hundreds of thousands of tourists expected to visit Dubai during the six month-long Expo 2020 season, the municipality is preparing to implement a series of new measures designed to address waste management under the 2030 Masterplan.


These include a ‘polluter pays’ weight-based charging system, a waste tracking system and mandatory source segregation; with the collective goal of reducing landfill destined waste by 25% by 2020.


“More than 1,430 tonnes of post-consumer carpet was recycled in 2014, an increase of 84% from 2011, and with our first Middle East client getting the ball rolling in this region, we hope to see more companies pursue their environmental awareness agenda and support successful eco responsibility initiatives such as our Take BackTM programme,” said Dulka.


Rula Dajani Abuljebain, Holman Fenwick Willan’s Middle East Managing Partner commented: “Our support for Desso’s carpet Take BackTM programme forms part of our commitment to being a responsible business. As an international law firm, we are conscious of our impact on the environment and are always looking at ways to mitigate that impact through initiatives such as this. We are delighted to have been able to avoid waste going to landfill and instead make sure it is fully recycled.”


The initiative is part of Desso’s Cradle to Cradle concept, under which the company designs products that can be recycled infinitely and without quality losses, in a technical or biological loop.


Millions of square metres of worn-out carpet is potentially discarded every year, and this prompted Desso to look at ways in which to counter the negative environmental impact and, at the same time, spread a positive message about the value of recycling,” remarked Dulka.


Desso’s Refinity® Plant uses a trademarked innovative separation technique, called Refinity®, which makes it possible to separate yarn from the backing in order to produce two material streams which can each be recycled. After several purification stages, the yarn is returned to the manufacturer for the production of new yarn and the bitumen from the backing is reused in the road industry.


Desso was also recently awarded Cradle to Cradle® Gold Certification for its new ‘Gold Collection’, making it the first carpet manufacturer in the world to be recognised on this level for its commitment to sustainability.  Produced with EcoBaseTM backing that contains upcycled re-engineered calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water companies, which is 100% recyclable in Desso’s own production process, the Gold Collection also contains ECONYL, a 100% regenerated nylon made from recovered waste materials including post-consumer yarn waste from Desso’s Refinity plant.