New recycling technology boosts Belgotex green credentials

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Belgotex Floor coverings have once again proven they are green at heart with the installation of a new Erema INTAREMA® 1007 TE recycling line, boosting their growing green credentials and points earning capacity for Green Star ratings.

The R5-million Erema machine recycles polypropylene and production waste back into recycled pellets for conversion into black Eco fibre – a valuable raw material used in the production of needlepunch ranges.

Belgotex are the first company to employ the innovative INTAREMA® recycling technology in South Africa, enabling them to manage the recycling process entirely in-house, save costs and reduce the strain on natural resources in line with their Environmental Policy.

“We’re always looking at ways to reduce our input consumption of raw materials and manage our waste outputs. This new line enables us to use recycled fibre instead of buying in virgin polymer, without any loss of quality,” says Kevin Walsh, chief operating officer at Belgotex Floor coverings.

Combining a cutter and compactor with an extruder for the first time ever, the new technology makes it possible to cut, compact and extrude waste plastics in a single, continuous process. Its’ innovative “Counter Current” system means the machine can handle more material in a shorter time, is more independent in terms of the pre-compacting level of material and has a considerably higher temperature range which translates into higher productivity, flexibility and process stability. In addition, the inclusion of ecoSAVE® motors make it the only recycling machine on the market to offer up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions.

Effectively reducing Belgotex’s PP waste rates from their carpet production processes to close to zero, the Erema line is already processing about 200kg of material per hour, converting waste polypropylene fibre into high quality pellets which are then extruded into black Eco Fibre. This Eco fibre is then used in all needlepunch ranges and colours with black fibre in their recipe, providing a recycled content of between 10 – 90% depending on the colour. This allows for a higher recycled content of the total weighted area and earns higher points on the Flooring Calculator for the Green Star – Office Interiors v1.1 rating tool.