Did you know that the polyurethane present in your car, your mattress and your appliances can be recycled? There are in fact a large number of possibilities for dealing with polyurethanes that have reached their end-of-life. They can be recycled mechanically or chemically, and can also be submitted to feedstock recycling, which turns them into building blocks for other applications, or recovered, thus providing energy for other activities. In fact, even though recycling is the most well-known option for a number of daily products used by Europeans, it is not always the most environmentally-friendly option: in the case of polyurethane, recycling can require a great deal of energy, and it is sometimes most sensible to recover its energetic value through combustion, what we call energy recovery. In the EU, this is achieved through clean and careful incineration, during which pollutants are filtered out and energy is produced as a result of the combustion process.
Whatever the path chosen one thing is certain: producers and users of polyurethane are engaged to ensure that polyurethane is reinvested in the economy without burdening the environment. This week we’ll be participating at the EU Green Week, presenting the performance of polyurethane in a green and circular economy. Come visit our stand! Let us know if you are coming in the comments or on Twitter!