Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) featured Mohawk Industries’ sustainable processes, facilities and product platforms on “Live Exploration: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” with a live televised broadcast that was simultaneously streamed online. The Atlanta-based multimedia platform has been working with Mohawk and two recycling centers in Georgia to create engaging content for a “virtual field trip” that will teach students about the significance of reducing, reusing and recycling. The episode included a special tour through Mohawk’s Summerville, Georgia plant, as well as a closer look at different “ingredients” and finished carpeting to demonstrate the full process.
“The work Mohawk is doing was first shared with us when talking to recycling experts at the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials in Atlanta (CHaRM) and the Smyrna Recycling Center,” said Mary Anne Lane, education project manager at GPB. “Our goal with this program was to show students a beginning-to-end story of recycled materials, with a specific focus on PET plastic. We believe that seeing the possibilities of what can be created from a recycled material will serve as a strong motivator for people to think about where their waste is going and to choose to recycle it.”
The GPB Education series is aligned to Georgia standards and targets grades 3-8. Supplemental resources are also available to all grades K-12. The episode initially aired on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on GPB stations and the GPB website. The initial broadcast included live interactive elements, such as polls, as well as experts who answered questions submitted in advance and during the program using the hashtag #RecycleLive on Twitter. If you missed the edpisode, you can watch and review on-demand for free.
“Education and awareness are extremely important components in creating transformational strides in sustainability and the adoption of sustainable practices from an early age,” said Ramie Vagal, senior sustainability manager at Mohawk. “Continuum provides a very tangible, easy-to-understand example of sustainability using familiar everyday items.”
Mohawk’s patented Continuum process creates quality durable EverStrand residential and EnviroStrand commercial carpeting using plastic bottle waste. Since the implementation of Continuum in 2013, Mohawk has become the largest recycler of plastic bottles in North America, having recycled seven billion units in 2019 alone. To date, the manufacturer has recycled more than 50 billion plastic bottles, and has offset nearly 20 percent of recycled PET bottles in the United States by creating more than 936 million square feet of sustainable carpet for homes, schools, offices and other spaces.
“Often, as consumers, we want to make a greener choice, but sometimes those options do not exist or are not easy to come by,” added GPB’s Lane. “Mohawk has done a great job by showcasing ingenuity in delivering a high-quality product while doing it in a way that is conscious of the environment. I think that really speaks volumes to one company’s ability to create, innovate, and think outside of the box.”
Continuum was recognized by Fast Company on its list of the “most innovative sustainability projects of 2020,” having been named as an honoree in the magazine’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards program. Mohawk and Continuum were also honored this year with the Best of Surfaces Award in the sustainability category for its “Overflow” art installation by Basia Goszczynska; and most recently, by Floor Covering Weekly magazine with a GreenStep Award for the creative promotion of its recycling efforts.
“The younger generations continue to inspire us with their innate commitment to sustainable living as they seek to make more thoughtful, responsible choices,” added Vagal. “We are very honored that GPB has chosen to spotlight our Mohawk initiatives to help educate our future leaders on the merits of sustainability.”