Interface recycles fishing nets for sustainable sourcing

The inspiration for carpet tile manufacturer Interface's new Net Effect product line came not only from the beauty of the ocean but also from sustainable sourcing. As part of its production supply chain, Interface's yarn supplier Aquafil sources all of its nylon yarn materials from fishing nets that were once used by fishermen in the Philippines. In turn, Interface designed and produced its tiles from the fishing net nylon fiber and is dedicated to reducing its raw materials use and its environmental impact by 2020, according to Industry Week.

Net Effects tiles are composed of 81 percent recycled material and 100 percent recycled nylon fiber. Interface calls its sustainable sourcing project Net-Works, which also gives money to fishing villages in the Philippines. Instead of throwing away fishing nets that may pollute the surrounding area and endanger the barrier reefs close to shores, the nets are sold to Aquafil. With an estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear thrown away every year, sourcing from old fishing nets could protect marine life as well as cut down on global waste.

"Since 2011 they've been re-purposing waste nylon from discarded fishing nets and other sources, including yarn reclaimed through our own ReEntry program, to provide recycled content nylon for Interface carpet tile," Interface, said commenting on Aquafil, on its website.

Interface started the program by partnering up with non-governmental organizations to collect fishing nets from villagers on 26 islands of the Philippines. In exchange for cash, villagers turn over the nets, which are shipped to Aquafil's factory where the carpet fiber company uses its Econyl regeneration system, a fiber reclaim process. Through this process, Aquafil is able to make 70 percent of its fibers from industrial waste and 30 percent from end-of-life products.

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