National Bed Federation calls for consistent mattress recycling



The National Bed Federation (NBF) has called on the government to implement consistent mattress recycling across the UK.

Representing the bed industry across the UK, the NBF says 4.75 million mattresses every year end up in landfill or are incinerated in the UK. The organisation has called on the UK government to support its plans for a nationwide programme to fund a service that enables everyone to recycle their used mattresses.

Some parts of the country have facilities to recycle end-of-life mattresses either via household collection or at a local household waste recycling centre (HWRC). However, the NBF says currently there is a fragmented system for recycling mattresses in the UK, which amounts to a “postcode lottery”.

In September 2022, the NBF’s fourth report on the rate of mattress recycling in the UK showed that the number of mattresses being sent for recycling between 2014 and 2022 had more than doubled to 24%. However, it estimated that the “real” rate of recycling, which the report classified as what happens to components and materials after sorting and processing, was 14%.

We believe that the government should move towards implementing a national mattress recycling service as a priority.

The NBF wants to divert 75% of end-of-life mattresses from landfill by 2028. Last year, the NBF launched an industry-wide “Pledge for Our Planet” and says the number of signatories from its bed company members has more than doubled in the last 12 months.

The businesses commit to collaborating to take steps that will address global environmental damage at both company and product levels. The Pledge includes progressive targets for halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050, in line with the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

Jessica Alexander of the National Bed Federation commented: “In the current economic climate, with so many pressures on local government budgets, it is not surprising that mattress recycling provision is so patchy across the UK.

“However, given the ever-growing concern about global warming and increasing demand from consumers for sustainable options, we believe that the government should move towards implementing a national mattress recycling service as a priority.”

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