Clear Path Recycling, a joint venture company established by Shaw Industries and DAK Americas, has begun processing operations at its plant in Fayetteville, N.C. The plant will produce recycled PET (RPET) from post-consumer PET bottles. Plans call for the first phase of the facility to be at full capacity by the fourth quarter of this year.

The RPET processed through Clear Path Recycling is now being used as recycled content to significantly expand Shaw's ClearTouch family of residential carpet, according to David Wilkerson, corporate director of sustainability and product stewardship. "Shaw's ClearTouch products will utilize the RPET through the Clear Path Recycling operation," he said.

Producing polyester yarn with recycled content through Clear Path recycling is designed to consume a minimum amount of energy while extruding a virgin-grade product. By the end of the first phase of the project ramp-up, the operation will be able to consume up to 160 million pounds of PET bottles, which will save more than 550,000 cubic yards of landfill space each year. Additionally, the energy savings related to the project will save an estimated 1.4 trillion BTUs of energy annually -- comparable to the amount of primary energy necessary to power more than 10,000 U.S. homes per year. This energy savings will contribute to Shaw's pledge to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent by 2018.

Clear Path Recycling currently maintains approximately 20 million pounds of inventory, which will be processed into RPET for use by Shaw and DAK Americas.