ARFA secures $1 million funding for recycling scheme
The Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA) has been awarded $1 million by the Commonwealth Government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF) to develop a recycling scheme for resilient flooring.
Having already invested $15.5 million in 21 projects, the NPSIF aims to increase the number of industry-led product stewardship schemes in Australia and increase the recycling rates of existing schemes.
ARFA’s one-year ResiLoop project is a key component of its sustainability strategy. It involves the design, development, and trial of a potential product stewardship scheme for resilient flooring products, which are used in residential and commercial construction. Ultimately, it is hoped to roll out a commercially viable scheme nationally for resilient floor coverings.
Every year, Australia sells around 22.3 million sqm or 95,000 tonnes of these products, including 10 million sqm supplied by ARFA members. These products include vinyl planks made to mimic wood flooring and vinyl sheets used in medical settings.
Due to be completed by 31 March 2023, the project comprises three stages. The first stage will focus on identifying, developing and trialling technical solutions to reuse and recycle resilient flooring. Secondly, the reverse logistics process will be created to capture material prior to reprocessing. Finally, the creation of a supply chain model and business case will pave the way for a plan to roll out a national scheme for the Australian resilient flooring sector.
ARFA says its product stewardship scheme aims to deliver both wider community benefit and specific value across the industry by creating new collaboration between competitors, the entire supply chain and the wider industry. Economically, it will stimulate innovation and job opportunities, while reducing reliance on fossil-fuel resources by using post-consumer material.