Walk-off mats and the environment

Imagine a seabed free from abandoned nets.

That’s only one way in which our using Walk Off Mats from Milliken Mats is having a positive impact on the environment.

It’s all about meeting future needs by guaranteeing the continued availability of natural resources.

Our compliance with the sustainability aspect of the Bidvest Group’s Environmental Responsibility Programme is enriched through our supplying Walk Off mats to our customers.

Walk Off Mats from Milliken Mats are manufactured using Econyl yarn which is made from recycled trawler nets.  

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In 2007, Aquafil launched their first Econyl yarn for the carpet sector, produced by recycling 70% of post industrial waste, with 30% virgin polymer.  This enabled a reduction of over 50% of the energy content in the yarn, with much lower greenhouse gas emissions.  

Today, Aquafil focuses on the use of recycled nylon 6 Polymer from post consumer products, ie, top-quality polymer recovered from dumps and waste disposal areas.  This polymer waste will be cleaned and then physically and chemically broken down to be reborn as caprolactam which will then be reused in the manufacture of new products such as the Walk Off Mats which we offer to our customers.

According to research undertaken by Aquafil, the manufacturers of Econyl and a company dedicated to safeguarding the environment; the toughest environmental problems are the ones that can’t be seen.  One of the worst is the “submerged” problem of abandoned fishing nets.  These nets, the world over, drift for months or years, ensnaring and killing whales and turtles, birds and marine mammals. 

According to a joint report of the FAO and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), this phenomenon is getting worse because of increased fishing and the introduction of new materials for fishing nets which do not naturally degrade.  The report estimates that nets amount to one tenth (640,000 tons) of the waste in the oceans.

Today’s industry clearly presents a difficult challenge: every year the world produces and consumes about 4 million tons of polyamide 6, for clothing, fishing nets, floor carpeting (rugs and carpets), dashboards for cars, gears, plastic components and so on.