Recycling polyurethane foam in pressurised containers
Pressurised containers of polyurethane (PU) foam are used to fill gaps, insulate and install window and door frames so as to make buildings airtight. In Germany, about 25 million cans of PU foam are used each year.
As the cans count as hazardous waste, separate collection and disposal after use is mandatory. OCF (one-component foam) producers have invested in Produkte Durch Recycling, a company which recycles the metals in the packaging material, the reactive residual polyurethane prepolymer and the propellant.
An Ecological Balance Sheet shows the ecological advantages of this recycling method over others (such as recycling only the packaging material or thermal recycling of the remaining contents).
All residual materials (packaging and chemicals) in used PU foam cans are recycled by the industry in Germany.
In total, more than 95% of the components are recycled and 80% are used again in their respective value chains.