RetourMatras, a mattress recycling company that Ingka Investments is invested in, has opened their fourth mattress recycling facility in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands. The facility was constructed with the support of RetourMatras’ shareholders; Ingka Investments, Renewi and Ikano Industry. Following its opening, RetourMatras has the capacity to recycle all the 1.5 million mattresses being disposed in the Netherlands on an annual basis.
The factory was opened with a ceremony yesterday, 5 July, attended by Dutch State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management, Stientje van Veldhoven. Through their modern process, RetourMatras can prepare up to 90 percent of the material from a mattress for reuse. In addition to lowering the climate footprint, the cost of recycling for IKEA Netherlands was lowered while at the same time making it easier for customers to return and recycle their disposed mattresses, no matter if they originated from IKEA or elsewhere. RetourMatras continues to work with IKEA on material development.
IKEA is by far the largest manufacturer of mattresses in the Netherlands, and with size comes responsibility. At Ingka Investments, the ambition is to create impact at scale. When it comes to mattresses that means:
- utilising disposed mattresses for material reuse
- recycling mattresses efficiently and economically and
- accelerating circular mattress developments
The investment in RetourMatras in 2019 has enabled RetourMatras’ recycling capacity to be expanded, today covering 100 percent of the 1.5 million mattresses disposed per year in the Netherlands. This is especially important given that IKEA, together with other major mattress retailers in the Netherlands, has initiated a ‘Voluntary Producers Responsibility’ – in which all producers, from all sectors, will be obliged to recycle mattresses.
“RetourMatras and the Netherlands is a great example of how economically viable mattresses recycling can be achieved. Now we, at Ingka Investments, are exploring how we can roll out mattress recycling to our other European retail markets. Our first focus is on France, Sweden and Switzerland,” says Lukas Visser, Investment Manager, Ingka Group.
By 2030, IKEA wants to be 100 percent circular, meaning 100 percent of the raw materials used in products will be renewable or recycled. This includes replacing raw materials made from fossil fuels, such as foam in a mattress. In a new facility, expected to open at the end of 2021, RetourMatras will annually convert the foam from over 200,000 discarded mattresses into repolyol, the main building block for new foam. This circular breakthrough is the result of many years of research and development. By cooperating along the value chain, Ingka Group is helping to bring sustainability and circularity to the many.
Lukas believes that “by working together, with different stakeholders, we can turn a corner on climate change by making the circular economy more accessible for the many.”