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IKEA value chain collaboration advances circular mattress

Partnerships and collaborations have always been a cornerstone of the IKEA way. By working with its value chain, Ingka Group is helping to bring sustainability and circularity to the many. Ikano Industry, a leading supplier of mattresses and related products to IKEA, joined Ingka Group and Renewi as shareholders of recycling company RetourMatras. Together they are paving the way to a circular mattress.

By 2030, IKEA wants to be 100% circular, meaning 100% 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.

This is why in 2019 Ingka Group, through its investments arm, Ingka Investments and Renewi, a waste-to-product company, that gives new life to used materials, invested in the Dutch mattress recycler.

RetourMatras dismantles disposed mattresses and prepares the materials for reuse. Up to 90% of the materials are recovered and can then be used in new products.

Following additional investments from Ingka Investments, Renewi and with the joining of Ikano Industry, a leading supplier of mattresses and related products to IKEA, RetourMatras is starting a new recycling activity.

In a new facility, 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 Ikano Industry and showcases how cooperation along the value chain is key to move to a circular economy. With this innovation RetourMatras is the first company that manages to bring closed-loop recycling for PU foam from mattresses to scale.

Lukas Visser, Investment Manager, Ingka Investments, said: “At Ingka Investments we invest for the generations to come. We are keen to support RetourMatras in growing mattress recycling with the ambition of developing the materials for a circular mattress. Starting-up the repolyol production is the result of hard work across the value chain, a breakthrough innovation that powers closing the loop for mattresses. This is how we contribute to bring sustainability to the many.”

RetourMattas will open up two more new mattress dismantling facilities, including a first in Belgium and a fourth in the Netherlands, growing its recycling capacity to 1.5 million mattresses per year.

Alberic Pater, Business Development & Transformation Manager, IKEA Retail The Netherlands, commented: “With the added recycling capacity, we are able to offer mattress recycling to our customers closer to home and at lower costs. Moreover, with the new recycling facilities, we pave the way to achieving the national recycling target for mattresses.  

“Through our investment in re-polyol production, we bring mattress recycling to a higher level. We presented a prototype of a circular mattress on the Dutch Design Week in 2019 with positive feedback from the public. We’re happy that the first steps towards a circular mattress are being taken on our home turf.” 

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