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Biopolymer Flooring | Plant Oil not Crude Oil

Carbon reduction targets are driving the need for a transition to an oil-free flooring market



High carbon, oil-based flooring types like sheet vinyl, safety floors, luxury vinyl tiles, woven vinyl, synthetic fibres - nylon and polypropylene - and bitumen carpet backings dominate the UK market. Most of the large flooring companies still rely heavily on these products and continue to invest in their growth. It's like the Climate Crisis isn't really happening.


This situation has to change if we're going to achieve the carbon reductions required to move towards Net Zero Carbon. So, it's time to transition to flooring materials that are built on post-petroleum technology.


Biopolymers is one of the innovations that addresses this need. Made from renewable, organic raw materials, this family of natural polymers offers tangible environmental benefits and a pathway to significant carbon reductions.



A number of new categories of biopolymer flooring have been developed in recent years. These are based on renewable plant oils - like canola (rapeseed) oil, castor oil and linseed oil. Biogenic materials like these absorb CO2 as they grow so they are inherently carbon negative. So, flooring types made from biopolymers are low in carbon and some are carbon negative.


In contrast to hydrocarbon plastics, these organic-based materials are biodegradable. And, at the end of life, biogenic carbon is naturally reabsorbed by plants as a part of the carbon cycle. So, the carbon balance is maintained. It's the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels that are causing the inexorable increase in atmospheric CO2.

Combining biopolymers with other raw materials (many of which are recycled) creates a new generation of organic, low-carbon alternatives to oil-based plastics without any compromise in product performance or design flexibility.


 

Liquid Applied


Liquid-applied biopolymers represent a new category of flooring. Seamless, flexible and super hard-wearing, they are ideally suited to the demands of a busy commercial space.


Liquid Lino

A combination of linseed oil, wood and cork powder with other natural ingredients, gives this seamless lino floor a negative carbon footprint.



Bio Concrete

With 50% recycled concrete material and the in-built advantages of a biopolymer, Bio Concrete delivers on sustainability (with a carbon footprint below 2 kg CO2 / m2) with the flexibility and performance required for commercial applications and retrofits.



Bio Rubber

The addition of recycled content (up to 50%) makes Bio Rubber almost carbon neutral. The seamless look and vibrant colour palette make it a great design alternative to synthetic rubber.



Bio Terrazzo

With up to 90% recycled content and a biopolymer binding agent, Bio Terrazzo is a traditional material reinvented for the modern age.



 

Bio Tile & Sheet

Made from plant-based oils, such as castor or canola, and naturally occurring mineral components such as chalk, this bio-based material is lower in carbon and higher in performance than oil-based vinyls.


Bio Tile

Available in tiles and planks with wood, stone and a monochromatic palette, this is the more sustainable alternative to luxury vinyl tiles.



Bio Sheet

Vibrant colours combine with commercial durability and reduced carbon.



 

Bio Fibres


The quest for fibres made from renewable sources that can replace oil-based plastics like nylon (polyamide) and polypropylene is a priority for the flooring sector. Positive developments in this area are feeding through to innovative new products.


Organic Fibre Carpet

The use of castor oil fibre (64% of the total) reduces the proportion of nylon in the wear layer of this carpet and this, combined with a backing layer of recycled content, makes this an advance in the carpet industry.




We are at the point where the rush to plastic needs to be reversed, if we are to achieve carbon and wider environmental targets. Biopolymers are an important component in this transition.

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