Flooring industry takes a giant leap towards the circular economy
31 May 2023
The Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA) has taken its most significant step towards a nation-wide approach to product stewardship as it releases the proposed design for ResiLoop, Australia’s first national stewardship scheme for resilient flooring.
In fact, the need for an industry stewardship scheme is widely supported by the flooring industry, with over 40 key stakeholders including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, installers, and specifiers as well as influential ecolabels and industry associations signing a Collective Action Statement, which endorses such an industry-wide approach.
Resilient floorcoverings such as sheet vinyl, linoleum or rubber, Luxury Vinyl Tiles and hybrid tiles, are durable products with use lifespans of 30 years or so. The market for these products has grown significantly over the past decade, largely through imports. ResiLoop’s goal is to develop an industry-supported process to recover and recycle waste from these products here in Australia.
It is estimated that the construction industry generates about 9000 tonnes of resilient flooring waste from installations every year and the scheme will aim to recycle 1000 tonnes annually. It is expected that recycling rates will increase as the scheme expands and attracts new participants and as it develops end markets for the recyclate and solutions for the more challenging end-of-life waste streams.
ResiLoop is a timely solution, and will provide a practical pathway for waste from commercial and residential construction away from landfill and towards alternative durable products. It will also contribute to Australia’s ambitious goal to transition to a circular economy by 2030.
Supported by funding from the Australian Government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund, the impetus for ResiLoop has been the Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA), making it a truly industry led project. ARFA members have demonstrated significant foresight to develop ResiLoop and ensure effective consultation with relevant organisations in the product value chain.
The scheme design process was inclusive and solution-oriented. Dan Lovell, President, Australian Resilient Flooring Association encourages participants in the local flooring industry to join the scheme.
“We’ve been buoyed by the incredible support we’ve had for our Collective Action Statement on flooring waste, which builds momentum for the scheme and its implementation.
”ResiLoop is a clear demonstration of the commitment and collaboration to develop and implement a solution. Only through collective action, will we have an enduring and measurable impact. Suppliers, contractors, retailers, installers and builders all have something to benefit from this program,” he said.
“As stewardship, waste reduction and landfill diversion are being prioritised by consumers, policy-makers and regulators, you will see more major tenders demanding evidence of recycling, meaning those not delivering stewardship outcomes will be left behind.”
The scheme concept is also supported by the Green Building Council of Australia, the custodians of Australia’s only national voluntary rating system for buildings and communities.
The scheme describes a process for efficiently collecting scheme members' product waste from construction sites through a network of collection points and will be funded through a levy per square metre on relevant products, paid by distributors who join the scheme.
It will also include funding for research and development to grow onshore recycling capacity and capability, including development of products that can utilise the recycled material.
The design of the scheme was released today and expressions of interest for joining the voluntary scheme are open here.
Copies of the ResiLoop reports and Collective Action Statement are available here.
For media enquiries please call Sam Cox, Dentsu Creative PR, 0401 464 664
ResiLoop is an initiative of ARFA to research and design an Australian resilient flooring product stewardship scheme. The project received funding from the Australian Government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund.