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Personal advice
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Heiko, as a production manager, why did you start to look at how to make carpet recyclable and how to recycle it

Quite simply because the textile industry was still surprisingly sluggish on the issues three years ago, even though it is clear hat the EU specifies that production must be climate-neutral by 2050. Furthermore, the construction industry is one of the most resource-intensive sectors of the economy. And: 52% of the waste generated in Germany is construction and demolition waste from the building sector. Quite simply, it's time to act, and act now. All the products we develop today will only be effective in the future. Solutions are needed for the waste that is currently being generated. With the second-life product of the decoupling panels for the construction industry, we can now do something concrete. And that is
to recycle 100% of our own production waste and off cuts immediately and directly, in a resource-saving manner.


As a manufacturer of floor coverings, where else does OBJECT CARPET focus on the topic of sustainability & recycling? And why does waste occur in production anyway?

We naturally start with product development and manufacturing – and have been doing so since the company was founded. All of our products are durable and feature a long life cycle, making them highly sustainable. The already large proportion of recycled materials we use not only protects our environment, the products made from them are also free of harmful emissions. On the subject of waste avoidance in production, can only say: Anything that is not used will save resources and costs. But even our production is not completely free of production leftovers, i.e. waste. Machines need to be adjusted, and test runs are required, for example. At the end of a year we have approx. 400 tons of production leftovers, which can now be used in the form of decoupling plates as a useful building product, a so-called second-life product – in terms of zero waste.

New Project- new Product

OBJECT CARPET now uses carpet leftovers and off cuts to manufacture an all-round reusable second-life product: decoupling panels for interior finishing. The unique feature: A building product is turned back into a new useful building product for your sustainable refurbishment projects without any loss.

production surplus
Mechanical shredding of production surplus
secondary raw material
Heat pressing
decoupling membranes for use in construction

What is your vision for OBJECT CARPET for the next few years in terms of carpet manufacturing?

Clearly, the vision is to build a 100% circular economy in carpeting over the next few years, right here at the Krefeld site. We are noticing very strong currents from different directions throughout the industry to seriously address this issue. We  ourselves approach our suppliers (yarn manufacturers etc.) proactively. The key question is: How can they work with us to develop new materials so that we can bring new technologies and processes into use? We want to create and implement  solutions – designed for recycling. We want to be pioneers and role models. This is, and always has been our basic entrepreneurial attitude. We want to make a positive change. 


Dipl. Eng. Heiko Kühnen has been managing the production of OBJECT CARPET in Krefeld for almost 30 years. He knows the textile world inside out and is pleased about the dynamics and different currents that are now stirring up the entire industry in terms of resource conservation. In 2018, he initiated the in-house project group Sustainability & Recycling.

"We are the world champions in collecting waste in Germany. But as of today, 60% of all plastic waste is still going to incineration, which could basically be recycled into secondary raw materials. With incineration, the raw material is simply  gone, and we have to generate new materials from primary raw materials. That has to change and will change in the next few years. With our second-life product of decoupling panels, we have found a solution for us to recycle production leftovers in a meaningful way. Our goal is to manufacture products that are made only from recycled materials and that can be 100% recycled."

Heiko Kühnen, OBJECT CARPET production manager



OBJECT CARPET takes the future into its own hands and tackles problems head-on. Find out more about Zero Waste. Next Life!

Leftovers from OBJECT CARPET production and waste from the 1st product life cycle become decoupling panels for construction in the 2nd life cycle. The VITHERM® decoupling panels are available from the manufacturer VÖWA.