Flooring surface solutions company Tarkett has announced that it will be using phthalate-free plasticisers in its vinyl flooring production sites in Europe in 2014. These phthalate-free products have been designed to improve indoor environment and air quality.
The deployment of phthalate-free technology across its flooring ranges forms part of Tarkett’s commitment to greater sustainability and eco-innovation, and the plasticisers to be used are the type approved for foodcontact containers and toys intended to be placed in the mouth by children.
Tarkett proactively started deploying the new phthalate-free technology in its North American and Swedish production sites a few years ago. The Group will now progressively roll it out within all remaining production sites in Europe in 2014 and around the rest of the world in the coming years. The Group launched its first phthalate-free vinyl flooring range (iQ Natural) made with renewable plasticisers in 2009.
Anne-Christine Ayed, Executive Vice-President Research, Innovation & Environment for Tarkett Group, says that the launch of these flooring products sets another milestone on Tarkett’s journey towards environmental sustainability.
“Our eco-innovation program and commitment to sustainability are built around providing our customers with the very best products. Our aim is to offer more comfortable, healthy and people-friendly indoor spaces, without compromising performance and design experience,” says Ayed.
Another way in which Tarkett is contributing to better indoor air quality is by designing all its products to have low or extremely low VOC emissions. Some of these products have become the industry reference for VOC emissions reduction – from 10 to 100 times lower than the strictest worldwide standards – contributing to better indoor air quality. All Tarkett vinyl and linoleum products manufactured in Europe have total VOC emissions below 100 μg/m3 (after 28 days).
“This eco-innovation shows that Tarkett continues to be leading the resilient flooring industry, setting high market standards to answer consumers’ increasing demand for products that combine health, environment, performance and aesthetics,” commented Remco Teulings, President EMEA Division of Tarkett Group.
Cradle to Cradle solutions
Tarkett is committed to re-thinking its products, manufacturing processes and business models according to the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and circular economy principles which stress the need for a positive contribution to people, the environment, as well as economic development. Since 2011 Tarkett has applied these principles in partnership with the German Environmental Protection & Encouragement Agency (EPEA). The objective is to assess and select materials that are ‘good’ for people and the environment, and that can be recycled and reused as technical or biological nutrients at the end of the use of the products. This ‘Cradle to Cradle’ approach means that Tarkett aims to re-use materials repeatedly at every step of the way without compromising on quality or value for customers.