Dow Inc.'s polyurethanes business will open a new recycling facility with Orrion Chemicals Orgaform focused on end-of-life mattresses.
The plant will chemically recycle the mattresses into polyols, and use the raw material in flexible or rigid foam applications such as insulation boards or mattresses.
Orrion Chemicals Orgaform is a specialty chemical company headquartered in Semoy, France.
Dow established the Renuva Mattress Recycling Program as a circular economy initiative, designed to optimize the use and reuse of resources, and ultimately minimize the volume of waste going into landfills or incineration.
"Through Renuva, our ambition is to address some of the circular economy goals set out in the [European Union's] Green Deal and in national waste management strategies of countries like France," Marcel Moeller, global marketing and sustainability director for Dow Polyurethanes, said. Around 30 million mattresses are thrown away in Europe each year, which, stacked up, equals a pile 678 times the height of Mount Everest, Dow says.
The initiative can help the EU reach its goal of having 65 percent of municipal waste recycled by 2030.
For Orrion Chemicals Orgaform, the collaboration is a validation of its commitment to sustainable development, the company said.
"This will be a major investment that fits the growth strategy of our company," Orrion President Christian Siest said. "We will be proud to build an industrial scale production unit for recycling end-of-life foam and be selected as a partner by Dow."
Dow will be collaborating with its existing partner in the project, process know-how and turnkey installations provider H&S Anlagentechnik, on the construction of the new facility, building on the partnership first announced in 2017 with the Germany-based plant manufacturer to develop the market for recycled polyols manufactured from end-of-life mattresses. The new plant should be complete by the end of 2020, with the initial batches of product becoming available in the first half of 2021, Dow said.