Mattress recycling now a reality with startup of new RENUVA™ plant
RENUVA™ Polyol ready for use in flexible foam applications to deliver greater sustainability offerings for bedding industry
HORGEN, SWITZERLAND – September 22, 2021 – Dow Polyurethanes, a business division of Dow (NYSE: DOW), and Orrion Chemicals Orgaform together with Eco-mobilier, H&S Anlagentechnik and The Vita Group have inaugurated a pioneering mattress recycling plant as part of the RENUVA™ program.
Old mattresses made of polyurethane foam will now be recovered, dismantled and chemically recycled to create a new polyol, which is a key starting material to produce polyurethane. This RENUVA™ polyol is designed for various applications including mattresses. Today’s unveiling is a major step forward for the recovery and recycling of polyurethane foam and a significant advance for closing the loop for end-of-life mattresses. At full capacity the plant will process up to 200,000 mattresses per year to tackle the growing mattress waste problem.
“We are immensely proud to have unveiled this plant. By doing so we are answering the question of what can be done with recycled polyurethane foam. It is part of Dow’s strong commitment to delivering solutions that help close the loop and protect our environment,” commented Marie Buy, Sustainability Leader EMEAI, Dow Polyurethanes, “As RENUVA™ now shifts focus to the production phase and the first foam made with the new polyol, our Dow Polyurethane sustainability journey continues. We are actively exploring future possibilities for recycled material and potential applications. It is really a new beginning.”
The RENUVA™ mattress recycling plant is the result of strong collaboration between Dow and key players from across the mattress lifecycle: chemical innovator Orrion Chemicals Orgaform, expert mattress collector Eco-Mobilier, turnkey solutions provider H&S Anlagentechnik, and foam manufacturer The Vita Group.
“This really is a first for our company and for France. We have a longstanding commitment to creating more sustainable solutions and have long recognized the need for industry to part of the solution,” commented Christian Siest, President, Orrion Chemicals Orgaform, “Our plant uses a chemical recycling process in which the polyurethane foam is decomposed and converted into a novel single product. The great thing about this is versatility; we can process foam from any mattress and the RENUVA™ polyol recipe itself can be tailored for different applications.”
“Our ambition is to ensure the quality of the materials collected and delivery to RENUVA so that we keep to the promise of a closed loop”, stated Dominique Mignon, President of Eco-Mobilier.
As previously announced, flexible polyurethane foam solutions provider The Vita Group will use the RENUVA™ polyol to create its award-winning Orbis flexible foam, providing a more sustainable offering to the bedding market.
“Consumer attitudes have changed significantly, and people are becoming a lot more focused on making sustainable choices. We have already seen strong interest from customers across Europe for Orbis foam and interest in the RENUVA™ technology, providing exciting opportunities for our product lines,” commented Mark Lewis, Operations and Projects Director at The Vita Group, “For over 50 years, Vita has recycled or re-bonded pre-consumer foam trim into material suitable for a range of products such as underlays for flooring. Our collaboration with Dow allows us to take our sustainability vision to the next level and we are extremely proud and excited to play our part in driving this ground-breaking innovation forward.”
On September 29, Dow and RENUVA™ partners hosted a special virtual event “Closing the Loop for Mattresses: A New Beginning with RENUVA™” to reflect on the future of the program and share a closer look at what this plant means for the bedding industry.
Watch the replay of the broadcast on the RENUVA webpage: www.dowrenuva.com
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.
About Orrion Chemicals Orgaform
Orrion Chemicals Orgaform manufactures industrial adhesives and coatings. Its main markets are furniture, construction, food packaging and automotive. Orrion Chemicals Orgaform also toll manufactures specialty chemicals for startups as well as large multinational companies, offering a service tailored to its customers’ needs. Orrion Chemicals Orgaform delivered sales over 11 M€ in 2020. For more information, please visit www.oc-orgaform.com or connect to our LinkedIn page.
Eco-mobilier is the eco-organization that has been approved by the French public authorities to be in charge of used furniture and mattresses collection, sorting, recycling, energy recovery and reuse nationwide. Eco-mobilier brings together more than 5,000 furniture element manufacturers and retailers in France. In order to fulfill this mission, an eco-participation fee is added to the price of new furniture when it is purchased. In 2019, this has generated more than 175 million euros in contributions. Since its creation in 2011, Eco-mobilier has collected almost 3 million tonnes of used furniture, which has been reused, recycled or recovered at a rate of nearly 95%. By 2023, Eco-mobilier aims at achieving zero waste for furnishing and fittings elements. For more information, please visit www.eco-mobilier.fr
About The Vita Group
The Vita Group is Europe’s leading flexible foam solutions provider. Built on 70 years of heritage, Vita develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of value added and differentiated flexible polyurethane foam and Talalay latex products. Vita's three divisions – Comfort, Technical and Flooring – cater for customers across a broad set of industries including Bed-in-the-Box mattresses and bedding, furniture, hygiene and medical, mobility, construction and flooring. The company's pan-European operating base is well positioned to serve local, regional and multi-national customers across Europe and provide innovative and value-added products and applications across the world. Vita has responded to the urgent need for products and materials to support healthcare, care homes, medical and hygiene applications during the COVID-19 emergency. The company is currently delivering products for medical mattresses, filters for ventilators, PPE mask inserts, and many other healthcare related products. For more information, please visit www.thevitagroup.com
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