PET Recycled Carpet

Wednesday December 03, 2008
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PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a type of clear plastic often used to make soft drink bottles, household cleaning product bottles and even carpet! That's right, carpet fibers can be made out of plastic bottles that you drink from on a daily basis. While made from post-consumer waste, PET carpet is just as beautiful and durable as carpet made from new materials. In fact, many even say that PET carpet has more stain resistance than nylon carpet fibers.

Polyester carpet is made using recycled PET such as ketchup and soda bottles. When shopping for PET carpets, look for carpet fibers that are labeled: Resistron, Permalon and Resistron ISF. Unlike nylon fibers which are often treated with chemicals to enhance durability, PET recycled fibers naturally resist abrasion, fading and stains. This allows PET carpet to be richer in color and shade than those found in nylon yarns.

Most carpet fibers are made out of synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester and polypropylene, while the backings are most often comprised of polypropylene. All of these materials mentioned are made out of petroleum, a non-sustainable and non-recyclable product. To top it off, polyvinyl, a material used in the manufacture of commercially used carpets, can outgas hazardous toxins into the air that can cause illness and allergy irritations. Since the carpet backing can account for up to 60% of the total carpet material, it's important that it's made with post-consumer content in order for the carpet to be recyclable.

A carpet made entirely from recycled materials does not exist. While 100% of the backing can be made from post-consumer products, manufacturers have yet to manage the same for the carpet face fibers. Fortunately, the combination of both the second-hand backing and recycled carpet fibers can be reclaimed and used again to make new carpet.

Recycled materials that can be used in the manufacture of PET carpet:

• Tire rubber
• Textiles
• Foam
• Yarn mill waste
• Clean lint
• Recycled polyurethane
• Jute
• Hair

Purchasing PET carpet is one way to help preserve the planet; another is choosing carpet tiles rather than carpet rolls. In the event of carpet damage, you only have to replace the individual tile. This can help minimize carpet landfill waste.


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Associate Editor
We've addressed your comments and have made changes to the article accordingly. Thank you very much!
December 10 2008
Plastic bottles are post-consumer products, not post-industrial and nearly all of the backings today are polypropylene. Polyvinyls are mostly for commercial applications, not residential ones. Mohawk markets its 100% post-consumer recycled PET fiber products under the EverStrand name.
December 10 2008
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