February 7th to the 12th was the Dutch week of the circular economy. The purpose of this week is to show how the circular economy works in practice. With a rising demand for resources worldwide, there is also a demand, if not a necessity, to handle these resources more responsibly. With this in mind, the Dutch government has set the goal to make the Dutch economy completely circular by 2050.
At Schmitz Foam Products, circular entrepreneurship is part of our DNA. Have a look and see how we achieve this at Schmitz Foam Products.
What is circular economy?
In short, it means that existing resources will be reused, repaired or recycled. The intent is to extend the life cycle of resources and realize optimal waste reduction. At the end of the life cycle the resources will be brought back into the economy, to ensure that the cycle will continue.
Who is Schmitz Foam Products?
Schmitz Foam Products B.V. is the global supplier of ProPlay®, the perfect shock pad with drainage properties for high-quality artificial grass systems in sports and playgrounds.
- Meets quality standards of International Sport federations
- Excellent vertical and horizontal drainage capacity
- 25 year warranty for the owner of the field
- Circularity is key:
– Produced from post-industrial recycled foam
– Can be reused or recycled at the end of life of the field
How Schmitz Foam Products conducts circular business
At Schmitz Foam Products circular entrepreneurship is high on the agenda. We work in according to the ‘3 R’s of Sustainability’:
Most ProPlay products are made of quality foams that no longer have a meaningful purpose in their particular industries. These foams come from industries such as the automotive, packaging, medical, sports and leisure and construction industries. These foams have passed all quality tests, but are seen as “obsolete”. This can be, for example, because of an excess in stock, cutting residues or products that have not been sold and taken out of stock. If Schmitz Foam Products did not offer these products a second chance, they would probably end up being incinerated or being transported to waste disposal. The demand for our products makes Schmitz Foam Products one of the world’s largest recyclers of XPE Foams.
Fun fact; We work together with many partners across many industries to convert these foams, sometimes even installing shredders at their facility to make transport more efficient.
Schmitz Foam Products constantly gives foam a new chance, our own ProPlay shock pads included. ‘Thanks to the use of quality foam, the performance degradation is very limited. That is why we are comfortable claiming that even once ProPlay is no longer delivering what is needed for sports, it can still have a useful purpose in other applications.’ Much of the ability to extend the lifespan of the foam can be attributed to Schmitz Foam’s long-time experience and extensive knowledge of polyethylene foams.
Fun fact; When replacing an artificial grass carpet at its end of life, the ProPlay shock pads underneath may appear as if they were installed yesterday. Our shock pad will outlast the turf for 2 or even 3 cycles, enforcing our commitment to sustainability and our 25 year warranty. At Schmitz Foam Products we are proud that our products are being re-used, especially as its performance in terms of shock absorption and water permeability are still up to par.
The Schmitz Foam Products’ recycling philosophy aims to reuse whatever possible before recycling is considered as an alternative. The company will go to great lengths to find a second use for ProPlay sheets that have been reclaimed if they can still serve a purpose elsewhere.
This philosophy aims to find a new long-term application for a used shock pad(reuse). Only once it is established that this is not the case will the ProPlay be recycled. When recycling, it is important that the shock pads are clean; free of sand, stones or any other contamination. Clean pads can then be reintroduced in our production process.
Fun fact; In 2022 we will install our in-house shock pad washing device. By having this we can better serve the market for end-of-use shockpads. We can then further clean, shred and dry shockpads in order to recycle them. Another step forward in our circular strategy!