(Loudon, Tenn. March 7, 2012) - A 20-page white paper published by the Polyurethane Foam Association provides extensive background and a comprehensive discussion of the U.S. flexible polyurethane foam industry today related to production issues and solid waste management and recycling of post-consumer foam products that contain flame retardants.
The white paper, developed in
response to an invitation from the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO), makes a strong case for the U.S. foam industry's
excellent record of stewardship and the value of preserving a market for
post-consumer scrap foam, which can be used in manufacturing bonded carpet
cushion in accordance with environmental guidelines.
"This was a collaborative effort
between PFA and a number of other groups that were instrumental in helping to
shape this report," explained Robert Luedeka, executive director of the
PFA. "There is much misinformation published about flame retardants and
flexible polyurethane foam. We hope this document provides clarity and support
for science-based regulatory decisions related to foam characteristics,
handling, recycling and disposal."
In addition to the PFA who led
the effort, the organizations that participated in the review process were the
Center for the Polyurethanes Industry, the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane
Foam, the Carpet Cushion Council, Europur, the International Sleep Products
Association, the American Home Furnishings Alliance and the Business and
Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association International.
UNIDO assists members of the
Stockholm Convention, an international treaty alliance of 127 countries aimed
at protecting human health and the environment from the threats posed by
persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The Convention goals are to restrict and
ultimately eliminate the production, use and release of these pollutants and
also to establish regulation of their international trade and disposal upon
Parties to the Convention must
develop National Implementation Plans (NIPs) for meeting the obligations of the
Convention. The PFA white paper will serve as a resource for UNIDO in the
development of a Guidance Document on Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best
Environmental Practice (BEP) for the management of PBDE-containing waste
materials to be presented to the Convention.
According to Luedeka, although
the U.S. is not a signatory country and is not bound by Stockholm Convention
policies, the result of these efforts may affect the U.S. foam industry and
end-use businesses due to international trade activity.
The PFA white paper, Flexible Polyurethane Foam Waste
Management and Recycling is available for download at www.pfa.org.
The mission of the PFA is to
educate customers and other groups about flexible polyurethane foam. This includes
providing facts on environmental, health and safety issues related to flexible
polyurethane foam production. The PFA also provides for its members and their
customers generic technical information on the performance of flexible
polyurethane foam in consumer and industrial products. The website is www.pfa.org.
PFA Offers White Paper on Waste Management and Recycling for Carpet Cushion
March 9, 2012