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Making a Wave of Change With Recycled Plastics

Published 06-08-20

Submitted by Mohawk Industries

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Originally Published on the Off the Floor Blog

An interactive, large-scale sculpture built almost entirely from upcycled materials by Brooklyn-based artist Basia Goszczynska, Overflow represents plastic pollution in our oceans while celebrating ingenious recycling technologies that help minimize our waste stream. The work serves as a “canary in a coal mine,” warning us about what will become of our oceans if we fail to take responsibility for our waste. Commissioned by Mohawk and built using materials sourced from our recycling facility, Overflow incorporates the various stages of transformation that single-use PET plastic bottles undergo during our patented Continuum process: from bottles, to flakes, to pellets, to filament, and finally to EnviroStrand and residential EverStrand carpeting. 

Go behind-the-scenes and watch as Overflow takes shape, from its humble beginnings at our recycling facility, to Basia’s studio, to its debut at The International Surface Event earlier this year, where attendees were invited to crowdsource the artwork by contributing their plastic bottles to the sculpture and lounge on its carpeted beach. 


In 2019 alone, Mohawk recycled more than 6.6 billion plastic bottles, enough to wrap around the earth more than 33 times. Overall, our Continuum process has diverted more than 40 billion plastic bottles from waterways and landfills to become the fiber for carpet products in commercial and residential interiors.

The artistic work reflects Mohawk’s holistic commitment to initiatives around corporate social responsibility that help secure a more ecologically restorative future, as well as meaningful collaborations and partnerships that help us extend our positive handprint through a circular economy. 

Basia explores environmental and waste issues through a variety of mediums including sculpture, installation, performance, social practice and new media.

“Ultimately, I hope to shift perceptions about our waste, and plastic in particular, from something that is abject and easily discarded, into something that is precious and worthy of our attention,” added the artist. “I was excited to take on this project because it provided me with an opportunity to work with plastic bottles for the first time. As an artist interested in waste management and environmental issues, it was a thrill to see the fascinating process that salvaged plastic bottles undergo to become beautiful carpeting at Mohawk’s recycling plant.”

Goszczynska received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. In addition to numerous group shows and film festival screenings, she has presented her work in exhibitions at Arcadia Earth, Chashama’s Space To Present, the Mid-Manhattan Public Library and OCAD University. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as the Ray Stark Film Prize.

One of her latest high-profile installations, titled “Rainbow Cave,” was featured at Art Basel 2019 in Miami Beach.

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Mohawk Industries

Mohawk Industries

Mohawk Industries: Mohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, Karastan, Marazzi, Mohawk, Mohawk Group, Pergo, Unilin, Quick-Step and IVC. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

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