recycled matresses

So we can sleep with peace of mind


Every year, 40 million mattresses are discarded – in Europe alone! An environmental problem that, if all stacked up, would be around 8,000 kilometers high. Only 17% of these mattresses are currently recycled. All others are landfilled (50%) or incinerated (33%) and thus lost to the circular economy.


40 million mattresses contain around 300,000 tons of soft polyurethane (PU) foam. It’s not waste; on the contrary, it’s a valuable material. The idea was to break down the polyurethane back into its basic chemical components in order to be able to produce new mattresses.


Evonik has developed a new hydrolysis process that allows the polyols contained in PU foams to be completely recovered. This is in comparable quality to polyols made from mineral oil, so that new mattresses can be made from the recycled Evonik polyols. If the process proves successful on an industrial scale, the product cycle would be closed!


In product testing together with The Vita Group, the polyols from Evonik hydrolysis delivered absolutely competitive results. In the next step, Evonik and The Vita Group will test the process on a large scale.


The Vita Group, headquartered in Middleton, England, is one of the largest PU foam manufacturers in Europe. Vita products can be found in mattresses, furniture, cars, and also in aircraft and shock-absorbing sports floors. Vita already processes 30,000 tons of recycled material a year and – like Evonik – is determined to shift the standards of the plastics industry towards sustainability.


Would you like to dive even deeper into the subject? You can satisfy your thirst for knowledge on the websites of our department. Or get in touch with our team of experts: In Emily Schweissinger, you will find an experienced contact person.