RECYCLING: A Swedish flooring company and its in-house recycling facility.

08. März 2019 | Waste, Material | via Dezeen.com

Waste PVC is shredded and ground down to a powder at Bolon’s recycling plant (Credit: Dezeen.com)

According to an article on Dezeen.com, Bolon was founded in 1949 by Nils-Erik Eklund, grandfather of current company directors Marie and Annica Eklund, who collected waste material from local factories to make rag rugs.

Today, the company makes woven flooring from polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as vinyl. This material can be recycled up to seven times, according to Bolon product sustainability coordinator Ljungdahl, so setting up a recycling facility was a logical step.

“Nils-Erik Eklund started the company by producing rugs with waste material, and we have built on that heritage by recycling all our internal waste at Bolon,” she says in the movie, which Dezeen filmed for Bolon at the company’s headquarters in Ulricehamn, southern Sweden.

“Today, all Bolon flooring collections are made of up to 33 per cent recycled materials.”

The company invested in its own recycling plant in 2014, where it recycles offcuts from its internal production, as well as external waste from its PVC suppliers.

“By doing the recycling internally, we save virgin materials and also reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from transport,” Ljungdahl explains.

Bolon uses the recycled material to create the backing of its flooring, which the woven surface layer is bonded to.

Larger pieces of vinyl are gradually broken down into a fine powder through a series of stages. The powder is then heat-treated to adhere to the woven material to form the backing.

“The first step in the recycling process is a shredder, where big parts get cut into smaller parts,” Ljungdahl explains.

“The smaller pieces then get ground into flakes and then these flakes will be turned into a powder. We use this powder to create the backing material of the flooring.”

Bolon has its own in-house recycling facility to “build on the heritage of the company”.