PITTSBURGH—Covestro L.L.C. and Mattress Recycling Council California L.L.C. are hoping that a long-term research partnership will produce innovative ideas on mattress recycling and end-of-life processes, particularly as they relate to polyurethane foam.
Covestro announced the partnership with MRC Dec. 17. MRC said the collaboration ultimately will serve to foster a more sustainable, circular economy by finding continued uses for polyurethane from mattresses—such as carpet backing and sports-related surfaces.
"Together, we will attempt to develop new business models to manage the full life cycle of flexible polyurethane foam products," said Christine Bryant, senior vice president of Covestro's polyurethanes business in North America.
While the firm said it brings a deep knowledge in the research, development, design and production of polyurethane materials found in mattresses, it hopes to use this expertise in conjunction with MRC's networks in mattress recycling.
MRC maintains mattress collection and recycling networks via subsidiaries in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to the council.
MRC also said it hopes the Covestro partnership will identify new markets for reclaimed mattress materials.
Richard Skorpenske, who leads advocacy and sustainability efforts for the polyurethanes business at Covestro, said the partnership "directly supports our global commitment to further the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals while working toward a more sustainable, circular economy."
MRC is a non-profit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in states that have enacted mattress recycling laws. The council said it recycles more than 1.5 million mattresses a year.