If a mistake is made in the production of some consumer products, an entire batch or order may be tossed out, and with it, all the invested money. With foam products however, even the biggest mistakes can be salvaged by repurposing the product. In production, mistakes become shredded foam that gets used in comfort filling. Even at home, if a product is damaged, like a foam mattress or sofa cushion, it can still be reused as something like packing foam or serve a million other uses. This degree of versatility makes foam one of the most easily re-used materials on the market.
Companies that produce many different foam products from bulk forms used to be faced with substantial amounts of remnants that were too small or oddly shaped to be made into a new product. Back then, remnants went right into the bin, and the only re-use of these materials was from the occasional customer requesting to pick out a few pieces of scrap for a small project.
Today, foam manufacturers yield nearly zero waste foam, due to shredding machines. The foam filling used in pillows, bean bag stuffing, or carpet underlayment is produced from unusable scrap left over from other projects. While some may turn up their nose at the idea of comfort foam being “scrap,” this method actually guarantees that customers are getting high-quality materials. The remnants used to make shredded foam filling are trimmings and runoff from luxury products like mattresses, acoustic foam, and packaging. That means the shredded foam is comprised of materials with enough quality to be a premium end-product. The only thing that changed is it simply had the misfortune of being on the other side of the cutting blade.
Even in-home scrap foam can be repurposed. An old mattress can be made into arts and craft supplies, protective padding during a move, or for packaging for items in storage or the mail. Couch cushions can be cut down and used to make DIY throw pillows or even wall-protecting pads behind paintings and framed mountings. The re-usability of foam is one of its greatest benefits, and one that helps people directly, whether it’s in the form of a store-bought shredded foam pillow, or a DIY project from salvaged materials at home.