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California’s New Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Reduction Requirements

How new environmental laws in the nation’s most populous state will impact the bottom line of most companies, large or small.

California was the first state in the US to enact a law banning products containing HFC blowing agents (as well as refrigerants), whether the products are produced in, or sold into, the state. For polyurethane blowing agents, new policy changes took effect on January 1, 2019, for certain uses, with most other uses taking effect January 1, 2020, and a few others taking effect January 1, 2021. Here’s a breakdown of those deadlines and the polyurethane products affected…

January 1, 2019*
• Rigid polyurethane and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock
• Rigid PU slabstock
• Flexible polyurethane
• Integral skin polyurethane

January 1, 2020*
• Rigid polyurethane appliance foam
• Rigid polyurethane commercial refrigeration and sandwich panels
• Rigid polyurethane marine flotation foam
• Rigid polyurethane high-pressure two-component spray foam
• Rigid polyurethane one-component foam sealants

January 1, 2021*
• Polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet (XPS)
• Rigid polyurethane low-pressure two-component spray foam

If you’re a manufacturer still using HFC-blown polyurethanes, we thought you should be aware of these deadlines, especially if any of your products are manufactured, assembled and/or sold in the state of California. Eventually giving up all sales in the most populous state in America – which also has the largest economy – will severely impact the bottom line of most companies, large or small.

Fortunately, Foam Supplies has the proven, effective and reliable answer that ensures your business can carry on uninterrupted: foam systems made with our Ecomate® blowing agent technology. Ecomate was developed and patented in 2002 as the first next generation foam blowing agent to deliver comparable or better performance than CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs – without the negative environmental impacts.

In 2003, the US EPA first listed Ecomate as an approved substitute for CFCs and HCFCs in all foam blowing end uses under its SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) Program. That means we have more than 20 years of proven performance – a history you can count on when switching from HFC-based to Ecomate-based polyurethane systems. Our products include Ecofoam® rigid insulating foams, Ecoflex™ flexible and integral skin foams, Ecomarine flotation foams and more. Plus, switching to any of these foams typically requires little to no changes to your manufacturing processes.

To learn more about current and future HFC phase-outs in the state of California, visit the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Website.

*Except for specific military, space and aeronautics-related applications with special extensions.

Read more about the future of the Global Polyurethane market.