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Ikea on the way to create a circular mattress

Words by Smiley Team

You might not think about mattresses heading for landfill, as we use them for such a long time – but stats show more than 40 million mattresses are discarded every year in the European Union alone. 

That's a lot of waste.

So Ikea is leading an initiative where new mattresses are created from a collection of disposed mattresses – prolonging the life of already-made products by increasing the use of recycled polyols in foam.

With this initiative, IKEA aims to reduce foam ending up in landfill, decrease pollution, and drive the industry agenda to develop foam solutions centred around recycled materials. Their target for 2025 is a minimum of 20% recycled and/or renewable content in the polyols used in foam production for IKEA mattresses.

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“Since 2015 IKEA has been developing and implementing renewable content in our foam," says Caroline McGarvey, Material & Innovation Area Manager for textile and comfort materials at IKEA of Sweden.

"We are challenging the industry and working closely with our partners to find solutions that can increase the renewable content share in our foam products. In addition, we are now taking lead, together with our partners, in developing post-consumer recycled foam and a circular business model with the ambition to only use renewable or recycled materials by 2030."

The retailer has already produced some mattresses with content from pre-consumer recycled polyols in the foam, mixed with virgin fossil-based material. They've taken foam waste from the production and chemically recycled it into polyol to produce new foam. 

"There are still some challenges to overcome, and we are humble to the fact that it takes time for an industry to develop," they said. "What we can do already now to reduce our dependency on virgin fossil-based materials is to design our products to use less foam."

You can read more about Ikea's circular mattress model on its website

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This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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