The European Resilient Flooring Manufacturers’ Institute (ERFMI) has signed the Circular Plastics Alliance declaration, joining more than 100 partners across the plastics value chain who have made voluntary pledges to use or produce more recycled plastics.
The Circular Plastics Alliance, a group of public bodies, businesses and trade organisations supported by the European Commission, has published a declaration committing to increasing the use of recycled plastic over the next six years
The declaration commits to using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic in new products by 2025 through voluntary market-driven action.
“At ERFMI we are committed to working towards a circular economy for our products. We look forward to working with the other 100+ signatories from across the plastics value chain to reach the goals laid down in the Circular Plastics Alliance,” stated Jane Gardner, Managing Director of ERFMI, which represents the interests of the resilient flooring sector in Europe.
She continued: “Our members are very committed to working towards achieving a circular economy for our industry and that’s one of the cornerstones of our roadmap. Everyone at ERFMI feels the Circular Plastics Alliance really allows us to access and work with the plastics value chain to achieve our goals.”
Jane explained that the organisation is currently involved with several projects aligned with Circular Plastics Alliance principles, including the EU project Circular Flooring, a €5.4 million project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
As one of 11 project partners, ERFMI contributes expertise to the project, which is researching recycling end-of-life PVC floor coverings using the Fraunhofer CreaSolv® Process. This dissolution process involves the technically sophisticated separation of ‘legacy plasticisers’ to obtain a high-quality virgin like PVC material that is processed into granules. These are ready for re-use in new floor covering products which are compliant with current EU legislation and meet consumer expectations regarding a circular economy.
Co-ordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany, the project aims to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of this recycling process for PVC floor coverings at an industrial scale. The project runs until May 2023.
ERFMI represents the interests of 17 manufacturers and distributors of resilient floor coverings across Europe, who between them produce in excess of 360 million sq metres of flooring a year and employ 11,000 people.