Australian Mattress Industry Teams Up to Recycle Used Beds

NEWS RELEASE WRITTEN BY SOFT LANDING AND PUBLISHED, UNEDITED, BY BEDTIMES

Bedding Industry Joins Together for Environment and Social Good

Soft Landing logoNew South Wales, Australia, June 7, 2017 — The bedding industry meets in Melbourne next week to push forward a new scheme aimed at managing the responsible disposal of old mattresses.

It is estimated 1.6 million mattresses are sent to landfills each year, where they can take more than 10 years to break down. If all these mattresses were laid down head to foot, they would stretch from Darwin to Melbourne!

As well as causing significant issues in landfill, there is also a growing problem of illegal mattress dumping by the community because they are bulky, heavy and difficult to dispose of. All this leads to unsafe landfills, unsightly kerbsides and unnecessary carbon emissions.

The Breakfast Briefing on Wednesday, 14 June, is part of the Soft Landing Product Stewardship Scheme, and will bring together leading bedding industry retailers and manufacturers including the scheme’s founding members; Harvey Norman, Domayne, AH Beard, Joyce Foam Products, Sealy, Tempur, SleepMaker, Thermotec, Covestro and the TIC Group. The event will be opened by Stan Krpan, CEO of Sustainability Victoria.

The Soft Landing Product Stewardship Scheme is designed for the bedding industry to take action and share responsibility for the end-of-life mattresses they are manufacturing and selling. There is a growing acknowledgement in society “that those involved in producing, selling, using and disposing of products have a shared responsibility to ensure that those products are managed in a way that reduces their impact, throughout their lifecycle, on the environment and on human health and safety” (Commonwealth Department of Environment definition of Product Stewardship).

“The bedding industry’s product stewardship scheme is unique in that it is partnered with a social enterprise”, said Janelle Wallace, Scheme Manager. “We are delighted to have Australia’s largest manufacturers, one of the largest retailers and key members of the supply chain driving this initiative, the objectives of which are to get mattresses off our streets and out of landfill, while supporting people who need a chance to get on their feet.”

Soft Landing is Australia’s largest mattress recycler, last year  winning  Social  Enterprise  of  the  Year. They divert waste mattresses from landfill and strip the components for reuse. Soft Landing  has  developed  closed-loop  material  recovery  for  mattress  components  and  offers  employment opportunities for people who experience barriers to gaining employment. Soft Landing has four key objectives: to provide employment and training; protect the environment; support local communities and Sustainability.

“The Soft Landing Product Stewardship programme offers a range of benefits for the mattress industry in terms of responsible and sustainable manufacturing through to whole-of-lifecycle of product. This, combined with the social enterprise focus of Soft Landing, gives a full circle story that we know will resonate with all Australians”, said the Scheme’s Chair, Kathy Jack.

Any business that is involved with the manufacture, import, sale or purchase of mattresses, such as hotels and hostels, is invited to take action and join the scheme. The more businesses that participate, the more mattresses can be saved from landfill and the more jobs created for people who have barriers to gaining employment.

The Soft Landing Product Stewardship Breakfast Briefing will be held on Wednesday 14th June from 7.30am to 9.30am at Sustainability Victoria, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

Contact: Justine Fitzgibbon Justine.fitzgibbon@resourcerecovery.org.au 0402 904 496

 

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