Technical Support for Mattress EPR Schemes

25th August 2020

Eunomia is pleased to announce it will be providing technical support to Zero Waste Scotland and the National Bed Federation to assess Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approaches to improve the circularity of mattress production and waste management in Scotland.

Due to the bulky size and mix of products within a mattress, they are particularly difficult to recycle, with more than 600,000 mattresses are sent to Scottish landfill sites each year. As such difficult products to dispose of, they are often illegally dumped. To tackle this problem the National Bed Federation has committed to diverting 75% of all new mattresses from landfill by 2028.

The Scottish Government is committed to moving the country towards a more circular economy, with a recycling target of 70% by 2025 to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. This strategy laid out in Making Things Last: A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland emphasised that the reuse, repair and remanufacture of products could help to achieve this goal, which could be attained through an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme. EPR schemes removes the responsibility for the end of life of a product from the consumer and instead places the financial responsibility of dealing with disposal on the producer.

Eunomia has previously developed comprehensive EPR schemes for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) for Defra and provided recommendations for guidance on EPR schemes to the European Commission. For this research, Eunomia will explore the potential to use Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as a way to improve the life cycle production of mattresses. It will also look at the economic, environmental and equality impacts of proposed options for the EPR scheme. The work will support the development of a business case for a preferred option for mattress EPR, tailored to the Scottish context, with the aim of providing a preferred EPR option with supporting evidence for improving the mattress life cycle.

 

Image courtesy of Stef via flikr (CC BY -NC-ND 2.0)