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Mattress Association, NABU and IKEA call for rules for mattress recycling in Germany

The mattress association, together with NABU and IKEA Germany, is calling for the federal states in Germany to approve a proposal from Hesse to the Conference of Environment Ministers that advocates a circular economy for mattresses. A dialogue should also be initiated with industry, which is already working with those involved in the value chain and recycling companies to establish an EPR system.

According to estimates, eight million mattresses end up in the trash every year in Germany. 95 percent of them, i.e. almost all of them, are incinerated. This means that the plastics and textile fibres they contain are irretrievably lost. Mattresses are usually disposed of as bulky waste or commercial waste. This means they become contaminated because they are often not protected from the weather and are pressed together with other types of waste. Recycling the mattresses is therefore practically impossible. Dry and clean collection is a prerequisite for the mattresses to be able to be recycled. The introduction of so-called extended producer responsibility for mattresses, including collection and recycling, would make it possible to set up such a collection system. Such systems have already been established in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.


'The federal government must ensure that the EU sets binding eco-design requirements for mattresses so that they last a long time and can be easily recycled at the end of their life,' demands NABU Federal Director Leif Miller. 'The EU Waste Framework Directive is currently being revised. This opportunity must be used to make mattress manufacturers obliged to finance collection and recycling.'

'It takes a lot of energy and resources to produce and transport a mattress,' says Walter Kadnar, CEO and CSO of IKEA Germany. 'With a clever and coordinated process, 80 percent of the material could be reused or recycled. That's why we are committed to extended producer responsibility for mattresses. We want all other manufacturers, retailers and importers to join us in being responsible for financing the organisation, collection and recycling of old mattresses.'

'We can only achieve the transformation with everyone involved in the value chain, including the waste and recycling industry. We have the network and a lot of know-how. What we still need is the support of the responsible authorities and ministries,' says Martin Auerbach, Managing Director of the Mattress Industry Association.

More information:
Fachverband Matratzen

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