“Plastic: Remaking Our World." This is the motto of the current exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, which examines the history and the future of plastics: from its meteoric rise in the 20th century to its environmental impact to cutting-edge solutions for a more sustainable use of the material. BASF is the co-sponsor of the exhibition, to which we were also invited. The event exists since 2014 and aims to present new innovative materials and promote exchange between different industries. In short: a great setting to look beyond one's own nose and adapt solutions from other fields of work for oneself.
Our Director Research & Development Roland Krämer as well as our Strategic Project Expert Michael Bednarek presented innovative solutions in the field of foam recycling and showed why successful recycling has to be considered already in the product design (Design for Recycling). They also presented our current Remattress project and showed why the cooperation of the entire value chain is necessary to close the loop.
"Foams are versatile and make our lives comfortable and safe, simply better."
The shoe pinches when it comes to recycling
Alongside plastics, foams have also been a global success story in recent decades, shaping our everyday lives like no other material. From packaging to sneakers, from mattresses to furniture, from travel to architecture and sports: foams are versatile and make our lives comfortable and safe, simply better. Foams stand for a wide range of innovations and progress. In recent years, however, the environmental impact of the material has also come into focus, and rightly so. Although foams have a good eco-balance due to their lightness and their protective and insulating properties when disposed of properly, the shoe is still on the other foot when it comes to recycling.
Hello circular economy!
We at NEVEON do not yet have a solution for all recycling issues. But we are grabbing the bull by the horns. We are convinced that, in addition to sustainable product design and the reduction of emissions, it is necessary to replace our linear economic system with a circular one. And we are fully committed to this. Our technical team has been working for some time on alternative recycling technologies for polyurethane foams, with the aim of returning them to the materials cycle. In doing so, we are pursuing several solution paths: on the one hand, we are working with other partners on a novel recycling process that can also be used to recycle mixed and contaminated foam waste. On the other hand, we are working with BASF to return used mattress foams to the product life cycle and thus produce recycled mattress foams. An important building block for this is Remattress - our online platform for the systematic collection and subsequent reprocessing of mattresses can be found at: www.remattress.de.