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Reinventing the recycling of building materials

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Reinventing the recycling of building materials

This is Ecomaison's trademark. By putting the resource economy at the heart of our strategy, we want to turn the recycling obligation into a real opportunity for the building sector.

"Our role is first and foremost to accelerate change and progress in the resource economy. This is how Dominique Mignon, President of Ecomaison, describes the mission of our eco-organization. Our ambition is to recycle building materials. To achieve this, we are going to produce high-quality recycled raw materials that comply with manufacturers' specifications, so that they can be integrated into new products. In this way, Ecomaison is reinventing the recycling of building products and materials (PMCB), by creating a virtuous loop, boosted by a highly incentivized and interactive financial system. On the one hand, sorting at source to facilitate the recycling of materials, and on the other, support forinnovationto accelerate the incorporation of materials into new products and find new outlets for recycled materials. 

Recycling loops for building materials: the example of insulating foams

This is the case for mattress foam recycling. Together with its partners, Ecomaison has developed unique expertise in the chemical recycling of polyurethane (PU) foam waste from mattresses. The first PU foam manufacturing unit was inaugurated in 2021 near Orléans. Furniture manufacturers and distributors are given financial incentives to reincorporate these foams into upholstered seats and sofas, for example.

The building sector is already benefiting from innovations launched by Ecomaison. One project was developed in collaboration with a specialist in PU foam products for the building industry. It led this company to adapt one of its flagship products, a soundproofing foam, to be produced exclusively from recycled foam from mattresses, at its Angers plant. This 100% circular soundproofing product, made in France, is now widely distributed in DIY superstores.

In collaboration with a company specializing in mattress dismantling and recycling, another project aims to offer craftsmen specializing in thermal insulation a blow-in insulator. Made from the textile fractions of mattress covers, this product could replace the use of traditional products used in attic insulation, for example. It is currently undergoing final certification.

Innovating for sustainable construction

Our experience in recycling wood, the main material collected, is already fundamental in the furniture sector. Manufacturers and distributors are given financial incentives to integrate recycled wood from recycling into the particleboard used in furniture manufacture. Particleboard manufacturers are showing great interest in this system and are actively participating in its development.

On the building side, Ecomaison is also innovating in building materials derived from the wood circular economy, by supporting projects enabling the manufacture of recycled MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and wood concrete.

By retaining responsibility for the waste collected right through to the end of the operational and technical process, Ecomaison is able to supply manufacturers with large volumes of quality recycled materials that can be used directly by local or national manufacturers.

In the context of the rapid development of sustainable construction, particularly in France, innovation and eco-design will be major levers for implementing this new project.

Massifying collection and recovery

Developing recycling loops implies massively increasing collection and processing volumes. Ecomaison's commitment has been made possible by its approval for the building industry's EPR recycling sector, making it the only eco-organization to cover all sectors of the home (including furniture, bedding, DIY, garden and toys). Over one million tonnes of waste were collected in 2021, 94% of which was recycled.

The aim is to double this figure by 2027 and aim for zero waste for all household products and materials.