Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the textiles supply chain. Since Texcare 2012 (Frankfurt/Main) it is stretching out its fingers into the dirt trapping mat industry, too. For the first time Milliken from Manchester and Austria based Kleen-Tex Industries presented product ranges with piles made from recycled polyester and nylon fibres.The European textile floor-covering industry has long since had big demand for polyamide fibres such as PA 6 and PA 6.6. The annual production of carpets, dirt trapping mats and flooring in Europe is estimated at one billion square meters per year which complies with the same amount of waste.
It is said that the disposal quantity of carpets reaches almost 1.6 million tons per year in Europe of which almost 80% is composed of carpet tiles made from nylon fibres – mostly PA 6 and PA 6.6.
Since the mid-1970s polyamide fibres have played an important role in the business of portable dirt trapping mats, too. The synthetic fibre provides strength, hard-wearing properties, rot and bacteria resistance. Solution dyed polyamide types are also available, offering good fastness against light and industrial laundering. The backing of these mats normally consists of micro perforated nitrile rubber.
Despite of the large quantity of recyclable fibres, textile floor-covering in Europe went the classical way of waste for a long time: the majority was sent to municipal waste combustors or landfill, a minor part was shipped to waste-to-energy plants. Very little was down cycled by other industries such as the concrete manufacturing where waste carpets replace fossil combustible material.