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Give a new lease of life to the foam filling from old mattresses, for example as insulation material. Ultimately, this is the main aim of a unique pilot project that began at Recticel in Wetteren in March 2018. The ground-breaking recycling technology has been developed in recent years as part of a cross-sector innovation project by Catalisti, the cluster for sustainable chemistry and plastics. This is one way the sector is putting the circular economy into practice.

The pilot project for the recycling of polyurethane (PU) flexible foam from mattress fillings should eventually allow the reuse of raw materials from old mattresses. The technology has been developed in recent years as part of the Calisti cluster’s ALFIBOND project, in collaboration with Recticel, carpet manufacturer Balta, machine builder Matthys Group, VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) and Centexbel, the research centre for the textile industry.

Recticel is already transforming production waste from PU foam into acoustic insulation material. For example, Simfofit, a soundproofing material for the home, is already available in DIY stores. With the start-up of the pilot project, Recticel now wants to investigate whether other recycling applications are possible. In this way, the company anticipates that it may become compulsory to take back mattresses, from 2021 onwards.