The new Ethos cushion backing for 6-foot (1.8 m) roll goods and carpet tile from C&A Floorcovering consists of ground glass and PVB that has been recycled from safety glass film.
At the June 2004 NeoCon tradeshow in Chicago, C&A Floorcovering, Inc. announced the availability of a new cushion backing option, made from recycled polyvinyl butyral (PVB), for all its carpet products. Spurred by a demand from Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest health maintenance organization, C&A developed the new Ethos™ backing as an alternative to its conventional PVC-based backing materials. Prior to the release of Ethos, C&A relied primarily on virgin PVC for its Powerbond
cushioned backings—the company’s ER3™ recycled-content backing is standard on its
products. C&A makes carpet tile and 6-foot (1.8 m) roll goods exclusively, while the other two Tandus companies, Crossley and Monterey, produce broadloom products.
Ethos is made from used PVB safety glass film (the plastic layer that holds the two panes of glass together and prevents shattering), which is collected when auto windshields and other safety glass panes are recycled. Ground recycled glass is added as a filler, along with a small amount of aluminum trihydrate as a flame retardant. The backing is 96% post-consumer recycled, resulting in carpet products with a total recycled content of 40 to 62%, and a minimum post-consumer recycled content of 40%, according to company data that is in the process of being certified by Scientific Certification Systems. To further verify the product’s environmental pedigree, C&A is in the process of having it certified as an environmentally preferable product (EPP) and has contracted with the Elements division of BNIM Architects and Franklin Associates, Ltd. to perform an environmental life-cycle inventory, which will become the basis for a full life-cycle assessment.