Australian bedding industry manufacturers, retailers and suppliers met June 14 in Melbourne for a briefing on the Soft Landing Product Stewardship Scheme, an industry-sponsored mattress-recycling program.
Sydney-based Soft Landing currently is Australia’s largest mattress recycler and was named Social Enterprise of the Year in 2016.
Participants at the event included representatives from the mattress-recycling program’s founding companies: A.H. Beard Pty. Ltd., Covestro, Domayne Stores, Harvey Norman, Joyce Foam Products, SleepMaker, Tempur Sealy International Inc., Thermotec Australia Pty. Ltd. and TIC Group Pty. Ltd.
The recycling program aims to manage the responsible disposal of old mattresses, according to a news release. An estimated 1.6 million mattresses are sent to landfills each year in Australia.
In addition, the country is dealing with the growing problem of illegal mattress dumping.
According to Janelle Wallace, Soft Landing general manager for product stewardship, Soft Landing is designed for the bedding industry to take action and share responsibility for the end of life of the mattresses they manufacture and sell. “In addition, the bedding industry’s product stewardship scheme is unique in that it is partnered with a social enterprise,” she said. “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 landfills while supporting people who need a chance to get on their feet.”
As a designated social enterprise, Soft Landing offers employment opportunities for people who experience barriers to gaining employment.
The organization’s mission includes providing employment and training, supporting local communities and operating in a sustainable manner. Soft Landing was founded in 2010 and has locations across Australia.