18 July 2024, 08:22
By Furniture News Sept 19, 2023

NBF appoints microbiologist to explore reuse and recycling

The NBF has entered a three-year knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Manchester Metropolitan University (ManMet) and has received funding to appoint a postgraduate microbiologist, Sophie Hibberd (pictured), who will research how the industry can measure the cleanliness of reused and recycled materials from beds and mattresses.

NBF has previously worked with ManMet to look at testing post-consumer materials to determine their bioburden, which subsequently laid the foundations for this new industry research project. The NBF recognised there was a need to delve deeper into this topic and find practical solutions to improve the rates of material reuse and therefore reduce the number of mattresses that end up in landfill.

The KTP aims to create an easily replicable, laboratory-free test that will quickly and easily indicate the cleanliness of a mattress filling/bed product.

Tristine Hargreaves, executive director of the NBF, says: “We are thrilled to welcome Sophie to the NBF team and begin work on the cleanliness of fillings test, which has been a long time in coming in supporting the bed industry on its collective sustainability journey.

“With over 75% of mattresses ending up in landfill every year, we hope the test will allow more materials to be reused but also provide consumers with the peace of mind that reused does not mean dirty.”

Sophie joined the NBF on 14th September and graduated from ManMet with a strong background in microbiology. Sophie will split her time between ManMet and the NBF’s headquarters in Skipton, Yorkshire.

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