Mattress landfill to be tackled by industry scheme

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Mattresses in a communal garden areaImage source, Zero Waste Scotland

Bed manufacturers are being urged to design longer-life mattresses that are easy to repair and can be recycled.

About 600,000 mattresses are sent to Scottish landfill sites each year, with less than one per cent being recycled, according to Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).

The government-funded body is working with the National Bed Federation (NBF) to develop a green industry scheme.

NBF said action was needed to help reach its industry target to divert 75% of mattresses from landfill by 2028.

The organisations are to work on a three-year research project, with the aim of developing an "Extended Producer Responsibility" scheme for mattresses in Scotland.

The initiative would encourage manufacturers and retailers to become responsible for the full life-span of their products.


ZWS chief executive, Iain Gulland, said: "The scale of mattress waste in Scotland is staggering.

"Tackling the disposal of hard-to-recycle items like mattresses is a key priority for Zero Waste Scotland, and for Scotland as a nation."

The organisation has estimated that the number of mattresses disposed of in Scotland in 2017 would be 112 times taller than Ben Nevis, if stacked up on top of each other.

NBF executive director Jessica Alexander said its members were already "making great strides" towards greener products, but more needed to be done to ensure its ambitious target was met.

"We hope the outcome will provide practical, workable solutions to some of those challenges for everyone across the UK involved in ensuring our mattresses are truly anchored in a sustainable, circular future."