To:   Vance D. Bell, CEO Shaw Industries Group, Inc.

“Shaw has been reneging on its commitment to recycle billions of pounds of carpet waste by closing two carpet recycling facilities in the U.S. and pursuing policies that lead to a greater increase in burning of carpet waste. We demand that your company stop “greenwashing” your commitment to sustainability and actually live up to it by achieving meaningful rates of carpet recycling and ending the practice of burning it.”
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    Stop Shaw from Carpeting our World with Toxics!

    carpet being dumped in a landfill

    Currently, most carpets end up in landfills, which is problematic as synthetic fibres, such as nylon and polyester, can take centuries to biodegrade, leach toxic chemicals, and emit methane gas.  Much of your company’s carpet waste also gets incinerated. Your industry calls burning carpet “transformation” which is an example of greenwashing, since incinerating carpet releases high levels of greenhouse gases and pollutants that are not regulated or monitored. These polluting emissions can be lethal, causing cancer, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and pulmonary disease. 

    We demand that Shaw promote sustainability and a circular economy in the carpet industry by implementing the following recommendations:

    • Invest in better design. As the largest manufacturer of carpet, Shaw should encourage industry-wide increase in efforts to design and market carpets with reuse and recyclability in mind.
    • Take responsibility for the products that you put on the market. Shaw has already shut down two carpet recycling plants. Shaw must guarantee that there are facilities in place to recycle the carpets close to where they are being disposed.
    • Stop undermining California’s recycling scheme and efforts to enact similar programs in the U.S. and across the globe. Shaw should work to implement more meaningful stewardship programs that achieve significant recycling rates and decrease landfill and incineration. 

    To learn more about the carpet industry’s “greenwashing” and failed attempts at sustainability, check out GAIA’s recent report [link].