EuroPUR Conference in Istanbul, Türkiye 2024

EuroPUR Conference in Istanbul, Türkiye 2024
Thorsten Leupold and Helmut Weldle from Schlegel und Partner - Your Market Insighters® attended the annual EuroPUR Conference in Istanbul, Türkiye 2024, the main gathering of the European Polyurethane industry.
Essential aspects that drive the industry include sustainability and recycling/recyclability, a range of new and upcoming EU regulations like the EPR (extended producer responsibility), ESPR (eco-design for sustainable products regulation), ELVD (end of life vehicle directive), and efforts to increase transparency and cooperation on the core topics along the value chain.

Thorsten gave a talk on battery safety requirements and innovations for BEV (battery electric vehicles), showing the advantages but also challenges of polyurethane as safety agent to prevent thermal propagation. While the overall frequency of incidents is vastly exaggerated, the severity of accidents clearly requires solutions. Polyurethane shows great potential for making batteries safe, it does not make the issue of recyclability any easier.
Helmut’s talk shed some light on closing the loop for polyurethane foam consumer products, showing the requirements and challenges along the waste stream and infrastructure to enhance e.g. the volume and quality of the input for mattress recycling. While upcoming regulations create a strong motivation, making it work will require more transparency and collaboration of involved stakeholders, advancing strong partnerships through the stages and increasing consumer awareness and education on making their mattresses a sustainable product.