Mattresses are notoriously difficult to recycle and take up a lot of space in landfills. However, the recycling industry has been working to reduce the environmental impact of mattresses by implementing specialised recycling programs. Governments around the world have also recognised the issue and are encouraging Stewardship Programs to address it.
In Australia, for example, the Government is working with the mattress industry to establish the Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC). Similarly, the EU, UK, and USA have adopted similar programs. Manufacturers and retailers are also being called upon to play their part in finding sustainable solutions to this global challenge.
To date, mattress manufacturers and retailers have no real directive as to how to clean a mattress.
Whilst the Care Label clearly states not to use chemicals, liquid or water, the lack of directive or available technology has led to a carpet cleaning industry that have flooded the market with offers to steam clean mattresses. This no doubt has a negative effect on the end-of-life recycling of a mattress, due to the conditions created by wetting the inside of the mattress material.
Many millions of mattresses are unable to be re-used or recycled due to their condition. This ties back to the loose regulations and directives surrounding the cleaning of mattresses. When water vapour enters the mattress the metal can rust, the material fillings can rot, the interior will have mould issues and there is a potential that the carpet cleaning chemicals can interfere with the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, such as the flame retardant. As all manufacturers attest to, if a mattress is returned due to client complaints, if any sign of water is identified, the warranty becomes immediately null and void.
For the general public and mattress retailers to increase the amount of recovered material from the mattress, they must ensure that Steam Cleaning is identified as a cause for concern. Mattress manufacturers clearly state on their care label that water, fluids, chemicals and detergents should be avoided but there is no government body enforcing the rule.
Maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of a mattress is crucial for the health and well-being of individuals, as well as the longevity of the mattress. While following the guidelines provided by manufacturers, such as avoiding water, vacuuming regularly, and using a mattress protector can help, there are still microbiological factors that contribute to mattress hygiene. These factors, such as dead skin, sweat, hair, and environmental factors like dust and germs, can quickly accumulate and become a problem. RemUVe™ offers an efficient, ethical, and Medical solution to this problem.
The RemUVe™ medical mattress disinfection technology is registered and certified as a medical device by the Australian Health Department and can be used in Hospitals, Aged Care facilities, as well as Commercial and Domestic settings. RemUVe™ is the only dedicated UVC mattress disinfection device that has been registered by a legitimate Government body to date. With RemUVe™, you can ensure that your mattress is disinfected and free from harmful germs, providing a safe, fresh and Healthy Sleeping Environment.
In Australia it is estimated that 1.8 million mattresses are discarded each year, with over 700,000 mattresses ending up in landfill, streets, beaches and bushland. Even up to 64% of the weight of mattress materials presented for recycling, may still end up in landfill. This indicates that there is a process between the purchase of the mattress and its end-of-life that requires attention.
This problem can be solved by ensuring that consumers are educated to understand the best practice for cleaning a mattress. This will ensure that mattresses are fit for recycling at end of life.
Moreover, this isn’t just an Australian problem, the UK throws away more than 7 million mattresses per year, and America discards more than 18 million annually. Clearly, we have an environmental problem on our hands, and we can share the responsibility.
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