What type of foam is recyclable?

Where to recycle foam rubber

Foam rubber, formally called polyurethane foam, is a porous material made of plastic that is formed by an aggregation of bubbles. It is very light and therefore easy to handle.

Polyurethane plastic can be used for a lot of purposes. From facades, materials for window or door frames, to foam used in car seats, for beds or other types of furniture. But it can also be recycled so that, properly treated, it can be transformed into insulating filler material in construction. It is also commonly found in packaging materials.

You have already seen all the things that can be done with something so simple. We also remind you of all the energy that can be saved in the process. Let’s give many lives to our objects. At Ecoembes we invite you to continue recycling. Let’s take care of our planet.

Polyurethane recycling center

Polyurethane foam recycling is essential. Polyurethane foam waste from production and construction is too valuable to go to landfill. It can be ground up and reprocessed into other insulation products or energy recovered by replacing fossil fuels.

When PU reaches the end of its life after many decades of use, it enters the waste stream with other building products. From IPUR we want to address the different fronts in which the Polyurethane Industry participates in waste management and R&D in solutions to improve processes.

Polyurethane insulation is 97 % insulation gas captured in closed foam cells and is therefore extremely lightweight. Its share in total non-mineral construction and demolition waste should be around 0.3 % (figure for Germany) and around 0.05 % in total construction and demolition waste (estimate for France and UK).  Their lifetime is closely linked to that of buildings and building renovation cycles.

Polyurethane recycling in mexico

This is a new recycled polyol produced from post-consumer polyurethane foam from mattresses. This polyol can be incorporated into the usual processes in new foam production, thus closing the cycle of the circular economy of this material.

We have signed an agreement with RAMPF Eco Solutions, a German company expert in chemical solutions for the production of high quality alternative polyols, which allows us to have exclusivity throughout Europe to develop and build new flexible recycled polyol plants from different sources and qualities of post-consumer polyurethane waste.

This alliance demonstrates our objective to transform our industrial complexes into multi-energy poles capable of generating products with a low, zero or even negative carbon footprint, as well as our ambition to close the recycling loop of these essential products by offering sustainable solutions for both polyurethane processors and the end consumer.

What type of waste is polyurethane foam?

There is waste, such as paper or glass, about which there is little doubt: we know in which container it should be deposited for proper recycling.  However, where should polyurethane materials be disposed of? Is it a recyclable material?

Nothing could be further from the truth, polyurethane is a recyclable material and can be reused in a multitude of products. Moreover, not only polyurethane products can be recycled, but also rigid insulating foam can be recycled.

A typical example of how polyurethane recycling is present in everyday life is the polyurethane foam used in car seats: the polyurethane foam inside the seats is reused in cushions for furniture, beds and home carpets. It is also possible to recycle the polyurethane used in bumpers, which, if properly treated, can be transformed into insulating filler material for construction.

As a result, the possibilities for recycling polyurethane are becoming increasingly wide-ranging. Work is currently underway to transform polyurethane into playground flooring, buoyancy aids, hydroponic mats or oil/liquid absorption uses.