When a carpet gets old, users usually throw it away. And in our increasingly recycling-aware society, a carpet is one of those things that usually does not get re-used – it is simply burned. That could soon change, say researchers.
An international team of scientists has come up with a method to make wool carpets from all-natural materials that can be re-processed after a life cycle. Although wool and cellulose fabrics are biodegradable, most modern carpets have another ingredient holding fibres together. It is a bonding agent called latex – and because of it, carpets usually end up in an oven.
The new project, funded by the Dutch government, is called Erutan – or “nature” read backwards.