A new type of technology enables a flooring company to boost its green ratings and credentials, adding to its ‘green’ reputation.
Proving it is a green at heart company, Belgotex Floorcoverings has installed a new Erema INTAREMA* 1007 TE recycling line in order to boost its growing green credentials and points-earning capacity for Green Star ratings.
The R5-million Erema machine recycles both polypropylene and production waste back into recycled pellets for conversion into black Eco fibre – a valuable raw material used in the production of needlepunch ranges.
As the first company to employ the innovative INTAREMA recycling technology in South Africa, Belgotex Floorcoverings is now able to manage the recycling process entirely in-house. This saves on costs and reduces the strain on natural resources in line with the Belgotex Environmental Policy.
“We’re always looking at ways to reduce our input consumption of raw materials and manage our waste outputs,” says Kevin Walsh, Chief Operating Officer at Belgotex Floorcoverings. “This new line enables us to use recycled fibre instead of buying virgin polymer, without any loss of quality.”
Combining a cutter and compactor with an extruder for the first time ever, the new technology makes it possible to cut, compact and extrude waste plastics in a single, continuous process. This innovative ‘Counter Current’ system keeps material constantly circulating against the direction of the extruder which means the machine can handle more material in a shorter period of time, is more independent in terms of the pre-compacting level of material, and has a considerably higher temperature range that translates into higher productivity, flexibility and process stability. In addition, the inclusion of ecoSAVE motors makes it the only recycling machine on the market to offer up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions.
Effectively reducing Belgotex’s PP waste from its carpet production processes to close to zero, the Erema line is already processing about 200kg of material per hour, converting waste polypropylene fibre into high-quality pellets. These are then extruded into black Eco Fibre which is used in all needlepunch ranges and colours with black fibre in their recipe. This provides a recycled content of between 10% – 90%, depending on the colour. It also allows for a higher recycled content of the total weighted area and earns higher points on the Flooring Calculator for the Green Star – Office Interiors v1.1 rating tool.
*INTAREMA and ecoSAVE are registered trademarks