5 Reasons Quartz Countertops Are Eco-Friendly

Quartz Surfaces PMC1959GJ

Low Impact Mining

Sustainability of Quartz Countertops

As a whole, quartz countertops are associated with sustainability mostly due to the low-impact mining. Quartz differs from other minerals and materials largely because there is less ecological disruption. The abundance of quartz and shallow depths at which it is found make it a more sustainable material to mine. This implies that less energy and fewer mechanisms are used in mining, which, as a result, does not have a negative ecological footprint.

Quartz Surfaces PMC2127
Quartz Surfaces PMC2127

Minimized Land Use

In many cases, firms use quartz mining locations that have been naturally cleared, which would considerably reduce the need for deforestation. In Arkansas, the quartz mining location only utilizes 20 acres of a 100-acre facility. This leaves the rest of the land as it is, creating an advantageous habitat for the local wildlife.

Reduced Water Pollution

The method of mining is almost always “dry-pit mining” due to the mineral’s nature, meaning that no water is required. Furthermore, the facility would use a variety of dust suppression strategically placed instead of overtly. For example, “mist cannons”, which form water particles with a volume of 5-35 gallons per minute, which would serve for mining purposes, are typically used in quartz mines. Thus, the water pollution impact would be substantially reduced.

Social Benefits

The mining of such a mineral requires the cooperation of the local community. This might take the form of hiring minimum local workers or working with the local community. In either case, the environmental impact consideration include an environmental impact assessment which is another way or ensuring that local communities are sustainable.

Progressive Rehabilitation

It would also involve the rehabilitation of mining locations with original plants and trees, such as the mining company in Georgia, which rehabilitated over 50 acres of mined land into its natural state. Such actions benefit local representative flora and fauna while ensuring quality land for less erosion.

Use of Recycled Materials

An increasingly large number of quartz countertops are being made of recycled materials, which massively reduces the environmental load of this product. The industry often incorporates recycled glass and ceramic into quartz composites, which make up as much as 42% of the final product. This waste stream would have otherwise gone to the landfill. In addition to the reduced demand for virgin quartz, the collection of waste to be recycled and the resulting lesser use of landfills is beneficial for the environment.

Reducing Carbon Footprint

The use of recycled products in the manufacturing of quartz decreases the carbon load associated with the production of those products, as the energy and carbon emissions had already been spent in their manufacture, while the disposal of waste material often generates carbon through its decomposition. A quartz manufacturer from Washington state reports that, by using recycled glass in the production of quartz slabs, it can reduce the carbon emissions of its production by “About 30”%.

PANMINQUARTZ PMC1927 for Kitchen Island and Backsplashes
PANMINQUARTZ PMC1927

Waste Diversion from Landfills

The practice helps divert a large amount of waste from landfills: a factory that makes quartz composites in Florida reported having processed over 1,000 tons of recycled glass for use in quartz countertops in the last year alone. Reusing waste glass, therefore, not only decreases the waste load of landfills but conserves natural resources and creates less of a demand for more glass to be created using raw materials.

Energy Conservation

A significant amount of energy, unsurprisingly, goes into the mining, transportation, and processing of raw minerals. As a result, the energy needed to process recycled materials is significantly less. According to the PACIA, in fact, it requires approximately 40% less energy to process recycled glass as it does to produce new glass from raw materials. As with the other benefits, this saving is especially important, as the production of quartz countertops is a highly energy-intensive process.

Energy Efficient Manufacturing

The production of quartz countertops becomes more eco-friendly and efficient in terms of energy. A range of companies make conscious decisions and install systems that rely on renewable energy. Directly, this approach decreases the quantity of greenhouse gases and the total amount of energy used in the production of engineered stones. However, the utilization of innovative technological solutions is not the only method to optimize energy use. Thus, the optimization of the energy use in quartz manufacturing factories is visible through increased reliance on renewable sources of power such as solar or wind electricity, advanced manufacturing techniques, and contemporary water systems.

Solutions in the Article

Advanced manufacturing and the installation of state-of-the-art equipment to minimize the energy used. For example, the plant in Oregon now uses an elaborate, closed-loop water system and recycles water used in the production of its natural stone slabs. In such a way, the organization saves around 15% of total energy use necessary for heating and handling water.

Use of renewable energy. Numerous manufacturers install solar panels directly at their production sites. For instance, the factory in Arizona claims to receive 70% of its resources for the production of a mineral from solar panels on its roof. The paneling system reduces the need for traditional fossil resources by approximately 400,000 pounds.

Optimization of energy consumption through technology in practice at every stage of energy use in quartz production. One such system allows monitoring the use of energy in real time and enables the factory’s management to avoid wasting electricity. According to available sources, this system has decreased the use by 20%.

Longevity and Durability

Quartz countertops are well-known for their long-lasting durability. First, this is why they are likely to be sustainable in both residential and commercial settings. The lack of need in frequent replacements will lead to lesser waste that is usually caused by manufacturing of products. For instance, this type of countertops includes hard materials that are almost impossible to break. Tests showed that even after 10 years of usage the quartz kept its usual strengths and integrity.

Quartz Capacity to Accept High Temperatures and the lack of need in maintenance

Quartz is one of the hardest types of mineral on the Earth. Its strength to be resistant from a variety of household impacts is high. Moreover, this material boasts high capacity to resist scratches or dents. This property will ensure that the users will not have a need in frequent replacements or other types of renovations in their kitchens.

The other reason why quartz sustainability could be measured by the low maintenance requirements is the lack of necessity of buying special types of cleaners, sealants, or others. The procedure that is currently used for quartz countertops is the simple cleaning with soap and water. This feature will also decrease the use of chemical products that are hazardous for the environment. Both of these reasons guarantee high sustainability of quartz. As waste will reduce, the environmental impact will be decreased too. For instance, the survey conducted at a home improvement store implied that after 20 years using the number of customers that will be in need of a replacement is reduced by 40%.

Minimal Maintenance Required

One of the main advantages of quartz countertops is that they do not require any complicated maintenance and do not need special cleaning agents, which makes them not only practical for busy environments but also one of the most environmentally friendly options. Simultaneously with being not prone to corrosion or other mechanical damage, they also do not let bacteria or viruses inside and outside, which also means that less harsh cleaning agents are required to prevent that from happening.

Cleaning Simplicity and Prevention of Chemicals Use

Since one of the required cleaning agents for maintaining any countertop material, including quartz one, is soap, the list of hazards released into the environment is limited by chemicals. Hence, reduced corporate exploitation of the surrounding ecosystems is essential for maintaining ecological balance. Cleaning the surfaces is only associated with soap so that no chemicals should be used, which can endanger the health of the people or the environment.

Quartz Surfaces PMC1953GJ
Quartz Surfaces PMC1953GJ

Use and Replacement of Durables

These two interrelated points mean that the quartz countertops are less prone to being replaced because they are damaged and their durability also mean that they will need to be replaced later in the future. By lasting longer and not requiring harsh cleaning that can be bad for the surrounding environment, quartz countertops also drain up fewer resources during their manufacturing since they will not be in the need of constant replacement. Maintaining ambient air quality also reduces the number of hazardous materials released into the environment once the volatile organic compounds present in many types of surfaces get in the air.

About Panmin

PANMIN is an innovative manufacturer of artificial quartz slabs. PANMINQUARTZ® is man-made quartz surfaces from PANMIN, which can be applied in residential and commercial interior decoration including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities and office table. 

Currently, we have three factories, two in China and one in Cambodia to provide sufficient services to our customers.

For more information about PANMIN, please refer to our contact page and we should get back to you ASAP.

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