‘…We as an industry need to drive the transformation to a circular system where products at the end of their life cycle are not waste, but valuable raw material and feedstock for new products.’
BASF has partnered with foam specialist NEVEON to develop a closed product loop for the recycling of mattresses. BASF is developing a wet chemical recycling process for used mattresses made of flexible polyurethane. The company has said that initial trials have been ‘very promising’. The original polyols can be recovered from the used mattress foam and reused to produce high-quality flexible foam blocks. BASF said that the quality of the foam blocks is equivalent to those made from fossil-based raw materials.
Currently, discarded mattresses are generally thermally recycled or disposed of in landfills. BASF and NEVEON say that they want to change this and return mattress foams to the product lifecycle. During this year the partners plan to obtain the first pilot quantities of recycled mattress foam. In coming years it is anticipated this will be scaled up.
To facilitate the collection and return of old mattresses, NEVEON launched REMATTRESS, a take-back pilot in Berlin, Germany, during in February 2022. The plan is to extend the service across the country in the coming months.
Dr Sven Crone, responsible for the European isocyanates & precursors business at BASF said: ‘For the recycling of mattresses, cooperation between all stages along the value chain is crucial. Together with NEVEON, we want to build a partner network and close the loop step by step.’ NEVEON CEO Oliver Bruns added; ‘We as an industry need to drive the transformation to a circular system where products at the end of their life cycle are not waste, but valuable raw material and feedstock for new products.’