Saturday was World Environment Day and in timely fashion Kiwi wool researchers have developed a compostable, plastic free rug. Through help from a $4.9 million sustainability initiative NZ’s wool export industry is now getting closer to mass producing fully compostable carpets. Textiles such as carpet, make up about 5% of NZ landfills with more than 186,000 tonnes entering the waste stream each year. Bremworth Chief Greg Smith says while wool carpets are better for the environment most still use a synthetic polypropylene backing and wont be composted. But this new rug, made from sheep wool and alpaca fibres, also has a prototype textile design backing which would be transformational for NZ’s wool exports. Greg Smith says the research was launched after demand from international consumers wanting to integrate natural fibre products into their home environment and create an environmentally sound, end-of-life solution for carpet not involving land fills.