Recently, I had a read through EGE's website. Actually a quite good and informative site. EGE is a dutch carpet manufacturer. Since I had a couple of questions in terms of sustainability (sure I had), I contacted the local sales representative and put my questions forward. As a result I had a meeting with him yesterday that revealed a couple of astonishing principles. I was informed that their carpet tiles would be free of PVC and glass fibre (good starting point), only fibres. I was not given exact declaration of what those fibres would be, just synthetic fibres, but post-industrial recycled content. And then I asked abot the end-of-life scenario. Unlike suppliers like Interface who are shipping the carpet back to the US (gererating quite some carbon emissions while doing so), EGE is trying to keep the product in the country. Great, I thought. But then I was simply blown away when I was told that the carpet could be uplifted and burnt in my fireplace. It would not create any emissions.... Now probably he is talking about really nasty emissions like PVC creating toxins when burnt inappropriately. But hey, it is still releasing carbon emissions, heaps of actually. And they are proposing to burn a high quality and valuable raw material. They are not worried about recycling or downcycling, they are just going to incinerate it.
Oh, I guess I am mistaken, because in their brochure, EGE calls it "THERMAL RECYCLING". How strange, I thought that recycling is actually producing a product out of the material instead of just turning it into heat and smoke. I always thought that incineration is a procedure in Europe used to get rid of stuff that cannot be recycled, but not a prime purpose.
Sorry guys, but EGE is receiving this weeks award for GREENWASH. (I have not decided whether it might be even this months)
And that's despite of all the great green certificates they are having, primarily for environmental management and indoor environmental quality. Very sad.