Carpet made from Corn

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by suprdewey, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Which rg I would think leads to a couple more problems:
    1. Is the retailor going to store it in his warehouse or outside of his store until it is picked up.

    2. will they know upon rip that it is a green recyclable product.

    3. Is Shaw going to come to the jobsite to pick it up?

  2. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    Shaw will come to the job site and pick it up at no charge,all you have to do is have it on skid's for pick up.
  3. Darwin

    Darwin Charter Member

    Kurt, you wrote that off the top of your head ?
  4. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Kurt???!!! Who is Kurt? And what did he write? Do you mean Curt in his post from November???
  5. Ben

    Ben Pro Member

    Pete is getting all upset after writing that monologue and not having it attributed to him. I think Darwin mixed up the names. Very insightful by the way.

    I only single out Shaw because they are an easy target. They started proclaiming "green" carpets when all they ever had was a green label. Other manufacturers really missed the boat here because some of them truly had somewhat green products, they just failed to let the public know that. I challenge you to get something in writing from Shaw that states a quantity of recycled content or that it meets LEEDS criterion. They will not give it to you because their products are not green.

    "closed loop recycled"- give me a break. How many installers are going to be hauling carpet to undisclosed locations? Who's going to warehouse it until the mighty shaw truck can come and pick it up and deliver it to a facility(for free)? It will just sit outside of some carpet store until it gets rained on and moldy and weighs a ton. Unless there is some kind of regulation requiring it to be recycled only a small fraction of it ever will be so I don't know how "closed" that loop really is. Big surprise here but shaw will never tell you what percentage of carpet stays in the loop. Fractions!

    Back to the aluminum can analogy here, which you think is specious- lots of things are recyclable and that doesn't make them green. There is choice by the consumer- it's too much trouble for some people to recycle their cans. There is practicality- just because I could recycle a carpet does that mean I'm going to?

    Just calling it like I see it here. I worked in recycling and waste management for a long time. In a lot of instances recycling is cost prohibitive. I think this whole green nylon thing is one of those instances and that they are only doing it to hype their "green" image. Shameful and transparent. I just hope that others can see though it.
  6. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Kind of like the title to this thread: shameful and transparent, but easy for the gullible to buy into..

    Fact: on a best case scenario, from DuPont: Sonora will eventually be 37% corn based for the polymer. This would mean a 36 ounce Sorona works out to about 1/5 corn based. For the sake of figuring: 12 ounces (1/3 of the 36 ounce face weight) of a 60 total ounce product. Doesn't sound quite so green now. Based on the current percentage of PDO (1,3-propanediol) obtained from corn the percent drops markedly.

    Ben, you keep stating recovery is unattainable. Please give some actual facts or figures for your contention. I have made a statement from first hand experience as one of the first DuPont Carpet Reclamation sites The system worked very effectively for the 10+ years I was personally involved in it, albeit not in a closed loop mode. I have no first hand experience if this specific system is still operating. Others here have posted that Shaw does have an operating recovery system that is viable. Your comments, based on these facts, simply does not hold water.

    The comment about my being upset is also misguided. I was simply inquiring if there was a post somewhere that I missed that had bearing to this thread. I took the time to reread the entire thread and now assume Darwin was referring the Curt (not Kurt) Durand post a while back (which was good. It also rebutted every other comment about superior performance based on first hand experience.). In terms of my posts being monologues, give us some facts (scientific papers are really, really good versus manufacturer marketing factoid sheets), or at least some personal experiences to back up your opinion and there may be some credibility to them.

    Would love to see how you define green so we have a benchmark for further discussion... then maybe we can frame future talk to Ben's World instead of reality.

    To mix "Green", LEED and recycling as if they are one inclusive group is misleading at best. They overlap at some points but are not interchangeable terms or discussions. Carpet (excepting woven wools with organic weft and wrap, natural dyes and pure gum tree latex) and flooring in general are chemically derived products, and IMHO, anything being done about greening or recycling or making them more environmentally friendly is progress. Has anyone read about the what the guy in Italy has developed? He has taken probably the most ungreen product out there, concrete, and altered it to absorb carbon dioxide. What is ther purpose in slamming any legitimate efforts our own industry is making to come up with similar means of providing stewardship?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  7. Curt Durand

    Curt Durand Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Published

    Darwin, My post with all of the technical jargon was certainly not off the top of my head. My head is old and full of all sorts of stuff but nothing that deep. That post was just collected notes from various websites I had come across while surfing for other information and saved to information folders I created for my own future reference. I find good info and save it in a location I can find again when needed.
    I realize that my head is full - plain full - and if I need to learn something new, I have to toss something out. Stuff I don't need often, I save if I think it is important.
  8. Ben

    Ben Pro Member

    Peter, I think if you check out the Regreen Product Checklist from LEED you might have a better idea where I'm coming from.

    A carpet that is not green because it can be recycled. You can turn the used oil from your vehicle into a number of usable products- including motor oil. DOES THAT MAKE OIL A GREEN PRODUCT?????? Should we say that oil is "closed loop" recycled product? By your and shaws logic the answer is yes.

    Like I said before, Smartstrand's greatest strengths are in it's hand, value and performance, not it's green story
  9. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member


    No floorcovering will be green according to that info.:ohno: Not even your beloved Smartstrand!!:ohno::ohno:

    To get green we will all be walking and living in straw houses. Never happen! The whole Green thing is a feel good deal, in my opinion. Can we cut back a little? Yes, but to say a product is green is next to impossible. I'll use an example, the product itself may be Green, but then to truck it to a distributor, and to a jobsite takes petroleum, the installers or builders showing up takes petroleum. Ya see where I am going here?
  10. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Ben I think we are at least finding common ground to discuss the issues :)

    As the link you provided is a third party,albeit in partnership with the American Society of Interior Design and the United States Green Building Council, I suggest anyone interested start with the USGBC site: USGBC: U.S. Green Building Council

    Here is a link from USGBC:

    Those resources pretty clearly show that recycled product is indeed a significant part of LEED certification. Certain products will never be able to achieve a Platinum level, or more correctly assist in a building obtaining a platinum certification due to the raw sources, but there is a great deal more that can be done by the flooring industry to help achieve the goals.

    So we are at a point where there is still a great deal of hearsay, conjecture and opinion but still lacking in facts.

    Regarding recycling, this is still an extremely important criteria for being green. No one disputing the bulk of flooring is derived from non-renewable resources but is it not the goal of any steward of the earth to work toward using the non-renewable products perpetually?
    The argument is not getting the petroleum back into crude and back into the hole. The discussion is what are the best ways to keep it in the stream and not in the landfill or incinerator. The means of doing this exist and there is an infrastructure to do so, but as with most change, the will is not there due to cost considerations.

    Last, isn't it rather convenient to now state your postilion on Smartstarnd has nothing to do with the green aspect of it? Let's look at your most recent comments:
    Hand: undeniable. Very soft and luxurious. But PET and many nylon yarn systems share this. 0 points.
    Value: A premium in cost over other polyester yarn systems and no indisputable proof of an improvement over them. No plus or minus points.
    Performance: Again no documentation from independent sources to date. We do have the first hand experience of a quality certified inspector who stated a complaint he looked at was performing the same as PET. To be generous, no points- incomplete supporting data.

    You haven't mentioned color. A benefit of polyester is in how they accept dye (much of this has to do with the types of dye required for polyester). A lot of colors are available in a clarity that simply do not look good in nylon.

    To sum up, I haven't read anything yet compelling enough to induce me to alter my own opinion (I had originally written this "to drink the Kool-aid yet" Trying hard not to be a smart ass...but the going is sloooow :)).

    Ken, you are probably too young to recall all of these same claims being made when polyester was first used for carpet. It was actually before my time, but being a third generation, I got it firsthand form an unimpeachable source, my father, a 30 year veteran of the biz when I joined the company (also confirmed by my grandfather and legions of mill and yarn manufacturing people).

    Hopefully this discussion will advance at the level we seem to be striving for and all will come away with some new understandings and respect for each other.


  11. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    As a lurker to this thread, I must confess I am finding the dialog extremely informative and, as an open minded observer, quite thought provoking. From all sides. It was the quote...

    that prompted me to make this post. We live in Vermont which is a very 'green' state. Heck, not only are we the Green Mountain state, we seem to be the mecca for every wacko environmentalist on the planet. So much so, that what is considered green extreme elsewhere is standard protocol here. Did I mention Dr. Rosiland Andersen was from Vermont... anyhoo, back to straw houses.

    There is a 'green' housing development in a near by town, {{actually I'd classify it as a modern day hippie commune, except they're all rich}} where all the houses are actually made of straw. Honest! The straw is cut and baled, the bales are tied together to form walls and the walls are then covered with stucco and plaster. The walls are about 18" thick and it's a really-really cool look.

    In fact, the last one that we worked in, the customer made their selection of wool carpet based on smell. Honest, I couldn't make this stuff up. We spent about forty-five minutes smelling samples. :eek: Hey, to each their own, if that's what it takes to make the sale, I'm there.

    One question I would be interested to hear your thoughts on is how wool fits into the whole 'green' discussion. What about a tufted broadloom with an action back and wool surface fiber. Does the surface fiber really make it green or only more green? Or is this whole 'green' discussion really just marketing?

    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts, like I said earlier, this is a very interesting discussion.


  12. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Thanks for the encouragement Dobby!

    It seemed to me this thread could turn nasty or informative and I'm glad someone is of the opinion it is going to the latter.

    One request, please do not ever, ever, ever bring up Dr. Anderson again. She has ZERO credibility in the science community and her tests have never been able to be replicated by any accredited laboratory. IMHO, she has unjustly caused a great deal of harm to the carpet industry that we still feel at times.

    To answer your question, I believe a wool face with jute backing in a tufted construction would be deemed substantially more green than a synthetic choice. The wool and jute are obviously readily renewable. The relatively small amount of synthetic latex (maybe there are sources who are using natural latex?) and filler for the latex (calcium carbonate - marble dust) are both quite abundant materials, though not renewable. Predicated on where it is manufactured, the carbon footprint would vary considerably.

    Dobby, maybe you can answer a question for me: is there any viable domestic ovine husbandry harvesting wool suitable for carpet yarn?

    Maybe be a niche worth looking at...
    I still have a pair of hip waders and I do love to eat mutton... (I'm fully anticipating some jeers for this one...)
  13. Ben

    Ben Pro Member

    I said that in my first post.

    You claim we are "lacking in facts". You are right. I want facts on how much Shaw carpet is being recycled and what percentage of a whole that is. Don't pee down my back and tell me it's raining, that's all I want from Shaw. I think we can all agree that choosing carpet from a green perspective often comes down to picking the lesser of two evils. Even 100% recycled pop bottle carpet has negative environmental impacts associated with it. So does wool. That doesn't make them bad.
  14. Nick Arrera

    Nick Arrera Traitor

    Saw a special on them a few years back . Can't remember the name of the country .
    They said they were actually better insulated then a stick house .
  15. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Ben, as hard as I'm trying, you keep wanting this to go in the gutter. We are in a public versus private forum here so let us both take care to censor our language.

    What is your relationship to the industry? May give a dab of cred to your rigid and seemingly not based on fact opinions if you inform us all who you work for and what you do. I would hazard to guess you do not work for Shaw...

    I certainly do NOT agree that making floor selections using green considerations is the picking of lesser evils.

    BTW what are the negative environmental impacts of wool? And pop bottle fiber? To make a statement with no basis other than your word is not of any help to anyone reading this.

    As an afterthought, I have sent an email to several upper level folks at Shaw and asked them to read and hopefully respond to your requests, allegations and barely barely civil sniping. I truly hope they will be able to respond, and if they can, I am sure they will not cloak their motives as you are.
  16. Ken

    Ken Pro Member

    Wow now i am really PO'd at you Peter,:D when you welcomed me to the site you didn't tell me that you were the GRAND POOBAH, I have never met a real life GRAND POOBAH before, looking forward to meeting my first one. LOL got to go pee.
    Can we go Green in our industry? It is going to happen just a question of when and to what extent. I myself am of the opinion that using a food source is not the way to go green with flooring or with fuel. This should be done with non food products. To prevent the consumers from getting the brunt of cost 3 and 4 times over.
    Your antagonism(IMO) towards Shaw is misguided, It is not Shaws responsability to go into each home and pull out the flooring for recycling. so how could they possibly give any type of realistic response to your question? I am curious if your a dis satisfied Shaw consumer or if your really a flooring industry pro.
  17. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    What if everyone sat down with some liquid corn and relaxed.
  18. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member


    I think this is what you should do with a GRAND POOBAH! ;)

    However I think there has been a mistake made, I heard Peter was a,

    GRAND POO BAH! lmao
  19. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    I have been called many things in my life but this is a first for Grand Poobah. Maybe I should hold for Grand Mystic Exalted Poobah? Is everyone lined up to kiss my ring?

    I am hoping Jon might respond to the sheep erosion and destructive and pollution. Being a Kiwi, he is probably far better qualified to confirm or deny the detrimental effect of sheep on the land than Ben or myself.

    Regarding the environmental costs of recycling PET, I don't have numbers, but logic tells me it requires far less than importing oil from the middle east and extruding virgin material. Closing a loop in recycling has never meant (and has never been stated in this thread) that energy is not required to perform the action, just that the benefits far outweigh not doing so.

    In terms of being informed, I would be happy to post experiences if you would step out of the shadows and do likewise. A good deal of my information on PTT came from Tom Rennie, who I first met about 30 years ago. If you truly know much about the fiber, I'm sure you know who Tom is. Coming from a large specified market service company, I have had very active and frequent contact with all of the fiber companies. Although they all had their own agendas, working with all of them forced one to having a pretty good understanding of the pluses and minuses of each both company and the fibers they made.
  20. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Or so the marketing hype would have everyone believe. ;)

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