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Environmentally Friendly Countertop Material Launched by Cosentino

Cosentino, the world leader in quartz surfacing and one of the world's largest natural stone importers, announces the launch of ECO(TM) by Cosentino, a revolutionary new line of countertop and surfacing material composed of 75% recycled material. The launch of ECO(TM) by Cosentino sets an unprecedented standard for the green building and sustainable design industries.

The result of a six million dollar research and development investment, this innovative new product caters to the environmentally conscious and design-oriented architect, designer, and consumer by providing high performance, design and sustainability. ECO(TM) by Cosentino will enter the market in April 2009, and is available at all Lowe's stores nationwide as well as specialty kitchen and bath distributors and showrooms across the country.

"The launch of ECO by Cosentino is an exciting milestone for the company," said Roberto Contreras, Jr., President of Cosentino North America. "It marks the introduction of an entirely new category to the industry and sets a new standard that not only complies with environmental regulations but goes beyond and invests in innovative environmental and conservation practices and technologies."

ECO(TM) by Cosentino is composed of 75% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material, including: mirrors salvaged from houses, building and factories; glass from windows and bottles; granulated glass from consumer recycling practices; porcelain from china, tiles, sinks, toilets and decorative elements; and industrial furnace residuals from factories in the form of crystallized ashes.

By utilizing these recycled materials, Cosentino is "upcycling" products that have reached the end of their lifecycle - meaning that they cannot be incorporated in to any other industrial product and would otherwise collect in landfill sites. According to Cosentino, approximately 3000 glass bottles equals 1Tn of raw materials. The production of ECO(TM) by Cosentino is expected to re-use the equivalent of 60,000,000 glass bottles every year. Reutilizing this huge amount of material prevents it from building up at landfills year after year, and reduces the need to mine for new resources.

The recycled content is then mixed with 25% natural material including: stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing, and fabrication; and is bonded together with a proprietary eco-friendly 22% corn oil resin. This pioneering resin is the result of a major research and development initiative, and is unmatched in the market today.

ECO(TM) by Cosentino's unique make-up of recycled materials combined with natural elements is achieved through state-of-the-art technology and delivers a hard durable surface that has high stain, scratch and scorch performance. Unlike more traditional materials, it is non-porous and does not require sealers. At launch, ECO(TM) by Cosentino is available in two sophisticated color palettes - the Revive collection and the Green collection - totaling 10 individual designer colors, suitable for both commercial and residential projects. It is also available in both a polished and a matte Leather Texture(TM) finish.

ECO(TM) by Cosentino is available in jumbo slabs of 63"x 128" and standard tile sizes of 12"x 12", 18"x 18" and 24"x 24". The jumbo slabs allow for a higher square footage of material per container, therefore minimizing the product's carbon foot print, and provide a higher yield of material during fabrication, minimizing seams and waste. The slabs are available in 1.2cm, 2cm and 3cm thickness to respond to varying market needs. Architects and building teams will gain points toward LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for a building project that utilizes ECO(TM) by Cosentino surfacing. ECO(TM) by Cosentino is GREENGUARD certified for low chemical emissions.

"ECO by Cosentino closely matches the superior durability of quartz surfaces, exceeds the performance of more conventional materials such as granite and marble, and is dramatically less damaging to the environment. It is the ideal product for today's eco-minded consumer who seeks performance and sustainability, without sacrificing design," said Valentin Tijeras Garcia, Director of Product Innovation, Cosentino.

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