Did you know that manufacturers are producing mats with considerably less impact to the environment by re-using recycled materials? It seems that green cleaning is making the shift from a trendy alternative to an industry standard. Facility managers are more likely than ever to ask their suppliers about the environmental sustainability of the products they have to offer. However, when it comes to eco-friendly matting, we haven’t had much to offer until now.
Manufacturers are now making products from recycled materials including car tires, pop bottles, and coconut fibers. They are also finding efficiencies that reduce energy, water, and paper waste. Matting is an integral part of any facilities cleaning program. By keeping dust and debris trapped in the matting at the door, indoor air quality is greatly improved, and vacuuming and carpet replacement is reduced. They can also reduce the amount of cleaning chemicals that are required to maintain facilities.
Although switching out a portion of virgin materials for recycled materials may seem like a minor change, they have a huge environmental impact. By adding recycled content to their matting, just one manufacturer has been able to keep 57,000 car tires and 18 million pop bottles from ending up in landfills nationwide. Without recycling, these materials would take generations to break down under natural conditions.
Advancement in technology is largely responsible for the recent strides in environmental matting. In the beginning manufacturers rushed to use recycled materials, however some of their enthusiastic experimentation resulted in products that were of inferior quality and did not perform properly. Consumers want green products, but not at the expense of quality or functionality, and certainly not at twice the price. Recent environmental mats look and perform on par with traditional mats, with comparable pricing.
When shopping for an eco-friendly mat, it is important for buyers to do their homework. Research can help consumers from falling victim to greenwashing (products that are labeled as “green”, but actually aren’t). Any good distributor or manufacturer will be able to prove the ways that their product has been produced with sustainable materials, and with a process that reduces waste. We encourage purchasing matting from a reputable source, as a low price point will not always guarantee a quality product. Quality matting should last anywhere between 1-3 years, while a cheaper product will only last a few months at best.