By Allan Gerlat
The carpet industry has instituted a voluntary product stewardship (VPS) program to divert and recycle carpet, a policy that the Product Stewardship Institute Inc. (PSI) opposes as a move to avoid extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation.
The Carpet and Rug Institute and the Carpet America Recovery Effort unveiled the program, which provides a financial incentive for U.S. sorters who agree to support the VPS program rather than EPR, according to the Boston-based PSI in a news release. The VPS program also excludes sorters in California, where carpet EPR regulations are in effect.
"Clearly, carpet manufacturers spent significant time to develop this complex program to reduce the multi-million dollar cost that carpet waste imposes on taxpayers, and while we appreciate them taking some degree of responsibility, their purely voluntary approach is hardly a balanced and sustainable solution,” said Scott Cassel, PSI CEO.
The PSI facilitated a national carpet stewardship dialogue meeting that was boycotted by carpet manufacturers because legislation was part of the discussion.
The VPS program, which is expected to run for two years beginning in January, attempts to stimulated demand for scrap carpet.
Carpet currently is recycled at a 7.5 percent rate nationally.