When it comes to sustainability, Salem, N.J.-based Mannington aims to prove its “tiles” above the rest. The latest innovation from the family-owned flooring manufacturer involves the recycling of 200,000 sq.-ft. of graphics materials from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games into its Premium Tile, a VCT product.
The initiative, possible thanks to an exclusive partnership with Canada-based graphics company 3M, marks the first time such materials have found a second-life use. Until now, the graphics’ adhesive component posed a challenge to recycling efforts, as the material tends to “gum up” into a wad of unusable waste.
Mannington’s Premium Tile was reintroduced to the market at NeoCon® 2009 as an eco-friendly, 1/8-in. thick VCT product. Featuring 25 percent post-consumer recycled content (reclaimed drywall and VCT), the tiles are available in four design collections— Brushwork, Colorpoint, Solidpoint, and Inspirations. Each line comes in a wide array of hues and patterns that range from artistic brushstrokes to colorful confetti.
The used 3M graphics will now be added in precise proportions to the VCT recipe. Mannington’s lab carefully tested the mixture to ensure that the original aesthetic and quality of the product would not be compromised in any way.
“This was such a great opportunity to source a unique waste stream that otherwise would get turned over to the landfill…The partnership with 3M got us thinking outside the traditional mind frame,” says Natalie Jones, Mannington’s vice president of commercial brand development and creative product. (Read more about the partnership at Contractdesign.com/3Mannington.)
While the partnership is a ground-breaking leap for the industry, the 3M deal is just yet another step up the success ladder for eco-focused Mannington. The company, which also recycles carpet into carpet backing and hard surface flooring, is continuously looking for new ways to incorporate even more post-consumer content into its products. “It’s a significant focus and really has been for a long time. It’s almost a business requirement for us and for other companies. It’s part of our core values of doing the right thing,” says Dave Kitts, vice president of sustainability at Mannington.
“That’s one thing you’ll notice about us: We’re constantly challenging what we make, where we get out materials, and what materials we use,” adds Mannington’s vice president of commercial hard surfaces Zack Zehner. “We’re really challenging ourselves on how we can divert flooring history.”
According to Kitts, Mannington is already discussing potential future collaborations with 3M, as well as incorporating recycled content to its other product lines. “As long as other manufacturers and other industries are creating waste, we'll be looking for ways to keep it out of landfills by recycling it into great Mannington products,” he says.
To read more about Mannington’s efforts to green its footprint and make a positive impact on its local community, visit TalkContract.com.