Can activist investors encourage better carpet recycling?

The challenges on the road to a circular economy are evident within the carpet industry.The U.S. sector produces about 12 billion square feet of carpet and rugs per year. Around 91 percent of end-of-life carpet is discarded in landfills, 4 percent is incinerated and 5 percent is recycled. Of that 5 percent, only about one-fifth is recycled in a closed loop as envisioned by circular economy principles and turned back into carpet; the rest is downcycled into less valuable products. That means only about 1 percent of carpet discards are recycled back into carpet each year.

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