25 May 2024, 18:19
By Furniture News Sept 29, 2017

NBF goes full circle

The National Bed Federation (NBF) has formalised its commitment to reducing and ultimately eliminating the use of landfill for the disposal of End of Life (EOL) beds with a new committee dedicated to the circular economy.

The trade body, which represents British and Irish bed manufacturers and their component suppliers, will focus on the disposal and recycling of mattresses, divans, bases, beds and headboards through the new the Circular Economy Committee.

Tony Lisanti, group chief executive of Airsprung and chairman of the committee, says: “We recognise that the industry has a moral and ethical duty to help find and promote solutions which will reduce and ultimately eliminate landfill disposal. Through education and best practice advice, the industry will be encouraged to move towards greater resource efficiency and embrace the principles of the circular economy.”

Members gave the NBF the go ahead to set ambitious recycling targets and work towards a viable national recycling scheme – potentially based on an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme – at its 2018 Spring Forum.

The move follows two specially commissioned NBF reports, over the past three years, on mattress End of Life*. These found that, despite a growing trend in mattress takeback and recycling, in 2015 less than 15% were diverted from landfill and more than 80% of this recycling is still overseen by local authorities.

With increasing engagement by industry and sectors such as hospitality to find disposal alternatives to landfill, the NBF has worked with the Textile Recycling Association to set up an independently audited register of approved mattress recyclers. The register is due to be launched early next year.

The new Circular Economy Committee comprises representatives from bed manufacturers, spring manufacturers, foam/fillings and textile suppliers. It is also tasked with investigating re-use schemes to help ‘close the circle’ and to examine and review standards such as BS1425 cleanliness of fillings standard* to ensure they are fit for purpose for a 21st century circular economy.

“It’s early days yet,” says Mr Lisanti. “But we have a highly experienced and engaged group of volunteers on this committee and I’m sure we shall see some exciting progress in the coming months.”

* NBF End of Life Mattress Reports 2014; 2016 and Derivation of the UK’s Mattress Recycling Rate in 2015 – all by Oakdene Hollins

** BS 1425-1:1991 - Cleanliness of fillings and stuffings for bedding, upholstery and other domestic articles. Specification for fillings and stuffings other than feather and/or down

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