The PUReSmart project, supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 Program, has pursued the ambition to develop technologies for EoL treatments, including a mix of chemical and mechanical recycling. (Source: Recycling Magazine)

Until a few years ago, reports suggested there was no effective solution to the problem of discarded mattresses: 60% ended up in landfills, and the remaining 40% were incinerated. Today, solutions are closer than expected.

The scenario proposed by PUReSmart is revolutionising traditional integrated systems of mattress production and recycling, moving from a conventional model to a more favourable style in terms of efficiency and material recovery.

Four years ago, the PUReSmart consortium set out to find ways to transition from the linear life cycle of polyurethane (PU) products to a circular economy model. PUReSmart suggested an optimal scenario from the outset; proper polyurethane recycling would have to start with a solid mechanical sorting process in favour of chemolysis.

At present, the results speak for themselves. Redwave now offers the first NIR sensor-based sorting solution to reuse flexible polyurethane foam. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy has proven to be a powerful tool for sorting of numerous thermoplastics (PET, PE…) and, for the first time in the industry’s history, it is being used to sort PU foams.

Read the full story here.