Who are the winners of the Eco-innovation Challenge (EIC) ? EIC is the first European call for projects for Research & Development launched by Eco-mobilier in order to develop ways of recycling mattresses, quilts and old pillows. What are the solutions, the processes and the applications proposed by these projects to create news ways of recovering the materials of these products? Let’s focus on the 9 ambitious winner projects, which participate to our “ZERO Waste” objective towards 2023.
Challenges tackled by our EIC call for projects
Our responsibility concerning the recycling of furniture, mattresses, quilts and old pillows makes us face a major issue: the continuous increase in the number of products to collect, sort and recycle. After 530,000 tons of furniture and mattresses have been collected in 2017 and 686,000 tons in 2018, Eco-mobilier will quickly reach one million tons to manage.
In such a context, we want to tie strong partnerships with the industry and stand as an innovation catalyst. Therefore, we have launched the EIC, which is a call for projects aiming at creating new ways of recycling and recovering the materials coming from End-of-Life mattresses, quilts and pillows dismantling. These R&D projects will therefore lead to new secondary raw materials thanks to new mechanical and chemical transformation processes. ‘The EIC will enable us to multiply by 5 the absorption capacity of the recycled materials markets towards 2023, while diversifying our ways to recycle and recover’ affirmed Fabien Cambon, Technical and Innovation Director at Eco-mobilier.
'The EIC will enable us to multiply by 5 the absorption capacity of the recycled materials markets towards 2023, while diversifying our ways to recycle and recover.'
9 projects have been selected out of 29 projects initially submitted. These 9 winner projects will have the opportunity to receive our financial support for the 3 years to come. We will also put our knowledge and experience to our winners’ service. Therefore, we will share our expertise concerning chemical, microbiological and mechanical properties of materials with the 9 winners. All the materials needed to carry out their tests for the good progress of their projects will also be provided to all of them.
The 9 winner projects
The 9 winner projects are carried out by industrial firms, both material transformers and users that come from the furnishing industry or other industrial fields, along with waste treatment providers. Their ideas will give a new life to materials coming from End-of-Life mattresses, quilts and pillows: polyurethane foam, latex foam, textile products or also feathers. All these materials will be used in several fields like the agricultural field, the furnishing field, the industrial field, textile field, construction field etc.
The ValPUMat project (Valorization of the PolyUrethane of MATtresses)
This project aims at developing several new applications with polyurethane foam coming from old mattresses, for housing acoustic insulation, as well as innovative products for the industrial and the automobile fields. This project is carried out by the Belgian firm Recticel, which is specialized in polyurethane transformation. This firm is working alongside with the French automotive supplier Tesca.
The Future for Foam project
This project is carried out by Veolia Research and Innovation, which is a branch of Veolia group specialized in materials recycling innovations. It aims at developing 2 innovative products with polyurethane and/or latex foam. A field study will help to identify new ways of using these End-of-Life materials and therefore select and develop the 2 envisioned innovative products.
The Cycle project
This project is carried out by the furnishing company CAMIF and the specialist of mattresses recycling Secondly, and aims at creating an eco-designed mattress that will be dispatched by CAMIF.
The CITP project
This project aims at developing a range of insulation products with raw materials coming from old recycled mattresses. It is carried out by Recyc-Matelas Europe, which is specialized in recycling mattresses along with a partnership with a consulting firm specialized in construction work called TBC Innovations and also another one called Polet Internantional audit & Consulting, working in the development of products and industrial processes.
Recyc-Matelas Europe, the technical and industrial center FCBA (Forest Cellulose Wood-construction Furnishing) along with a partnership with the furnishing company La Redoute are developing a range of eco-designed mattresses with raw materials coming from the recycling of old furniture.
The Substrat Végétal project
Brangeon Recyclage company, specialized in waste treatment and management, along with a partnership with Agrocampus Ouest national institute and JCP Environnement (landscapers) are working on experimental tests for a plant substrate based on polyurethane recycled foam, which will be used instead of agricultural soil in a growth medium for the development of vegetation in urban spaces.
Elastoteck company is developing innovative cushioning materials with latex from old mattresses for applications in the farming, the industrial or the sport and leisure fields.
The Feather and Fibers project
This project is carried out by Fourment Christian & Fils which is a feather and quilt manufacturer. It aims at developing innovative products for the furnishing field along with the plastics sector, with raw materials coming from recycled quilts and old pillows. This project is realized in partnership with MAPEA which is specialized in current plastic products manufacturing, along with Filatures du Parc, which produces thread with recycled materials, PEG which is the European leader of high-end cotton and Tri Nature which is involved in professional reintegration in the waste sorting field.
The Microbial project
The Spanish company Repsol, specialized in petrochemistry, is aiming at producing high added-value molecules through a microbiological recycling process of old mattresses.