The National Bed Federation (NBF) has welcomed the Government’s new waste and resources strategy. The report specifically mentions mattresses, stating that manufacturers could have to pay for dealing with those that are sent to landfill in order to encourage more recycling.
Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF, says: “We welcome the announcement and the opportunity to work with the Government on reducing the number of mattresses going into landfill. The NBF has its own Circular Economy Committee which recently announced a target to divert 75% of mattresses from landfill by 2028. We would like to achieve this sooner, but the average mattress is replaced every 10 years.
“We have also been working with mattress recyclers, retailers and local authorities on a Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers to ensure high standards of good practice are encouraged and followed.
“We believe that, ultimately, a well-designed Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme is the most likely solution, and we are keen to work with Government on that. If we are going to increase the rates of recycling immediately (they are currently about 15%), costs will inevitably increase and who should pay for that is an important question.
"It is too early to say how much and by what mechanism, but one thing we will be looking at is how mattresses are designed and constructed, to make it easier to disassemble and recycle them – which might mean costs aren’t, in the end, any more than they are now. And it’s not just about end-of-life management – some of our members have been working on designs with the most sustainable materials, and some even have their own sheep whose wool is used exclusively for mattresses.”