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Siya Phambili

Polyurethane foam is commonly used in footwear manufacturing but poses significant challenges in terms of waste management.The Siya Phambili project is aiming to address the issue from polyurethane foam waste. 

Country: South Africa
Project duration: 2024-2026

BASF introduces Elastopan® polyurethane for the midsole of Mizuno’s new training footwear – TC-01 and TC-02. The high-performance material solution enables Mizuno’s ‘Center of Balance’ (COB) technology that accurately transmits information to the soles of the feet through activation bumps molded into the surface of the midsole.

The Siya Phambili project focuses on establishing a plant in Ntshongweni, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, that collects PU waste materials generated during the footwear manufacturing process. These waste materials are then crushed and transformed into polyurethane sheets using BASF's Elastan® binder products. These sheets can serve as sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives for insoles and sole inserts in footwear. By utilising waste materials, the project promotes the principles of circular economy where waste is transformed into valuable resources. 

We are excited to pioneer the reuse of polyurethane footwear waste which will now be repurposed through recycling.  Through this partnership, BASF will enhance the quality of life of the Ntshongweni community by having an improved environment, and additional income from the sale of the finished products from the recycled material.

Juliana Hosken Wernek

Vice President Africa & Country Cluster Head Southern Africa

BASF and Siya Phambili collaborate with the non-profit organization of the same name to empower youth and women in the Ntshongweni community. The project offers skills training, employment opportunities, and capacity building, creating sustainable livelihoods and contributing to the overall development of the community.


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Our partnership with BASF, industry leader in polyurethane systems, will create value for the environment and the area we live in, by making use of the plastic waste that is currently being dumped, as a resource for new products. We are hopeful that working with BASF, new opportunities will be created for our community in Ntshongweni.

Ruth Bohmer

Project Facilitator.

The project is currently being set-up. We will report about further progress along the way.