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Living Lab Carpet

With an annual consumption of 17 mio m² and a lifespan of around 10 years, 1.7 mio m² (~1.2k tonnes) of textile floor covering is replaced annually in Belgium. End-of-life carpet is usually collected with the combustible material, resulting in a high environmental impact and loss of valuable raw materials. The quality of the collected carpets is often such that reuse is possible, after repair or refurbishment - reuse, repair, refurbishing. The aim of this Living Lab is to establish the framework conditions for reuse, repair and refurbishing business models.

Various challenges

To make the transition to a circular economy in the carpet sector, there are many challenges:

- the entire value chain must be involved. This differs according to several factors (e.g. type of flooring, composition of the waste stream, regional differences, etc.)

- need for a new collection and sorting system

- relationship with other sectors such as construction, plastics

- the numerous product types from different raw materials, made in complex structures and with numerous additives

- lifespan: depending on application: long (residential) to very short (event carpet)

Results and impact

With this Living Lab, we aim for the following results and impact:

- Mapping the entire value chain and listing the logistics scenarios (required factors)

- Identify suitable business model(s), validated by the partners and stakeholders involved

- Develop 5 demonstrators for the following options: reuse, repair, refurbishing

- Develop training plan for all actors in the value chain

- Prepare guidelines for eco-design concept(s) that facilitate reuse, repair and refurbishing at End-of-Life are formulated

- Make a significant potential contribution to the Flemish climate target through reduction.

- Initiate UPV within the carpet sector

The kick-off meeting

The realisation of a systemic change in such an ecosystem is a long-term and challenging process that requires the various players from the value chain(s) to work together. Besides actors from the carpet sector itself (companies, sector organisation, knowledge centre, training centre), tailoring companies, designers, innovators, social economy, recycling companies... are also involved in this Living Lab.

All parties involved in this Living Lab were present at the kick-off meeting: Balta, Belysse, Centexbel, Cobot, Designregio Kortrijk, Fedustria, IMOG, Material Mastery and Weerwerk. During the kick-off meeting, Centexbel presented the different work packages, the approach to be followed and the objectives to be achieved.

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