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Target #3: Sustainability in action

10 September 2020

Mattresses make circular dreams a reality

We are helping to recycle millions of old mattresses into furniture filling, gym floors and more as part of our vision to be the leading waste-to-product company. Our investment in RetourMatras, which creates secondary products by recycling mattresses, has allowed the firm to significantly expand its capacity to process them.

RetourMatras already has two plants in the Netherlands, which recycle 600,000 mattresses each year. This joint investment by Renewi and Ingka Group enables RetourMatras to build a third recycling plant, in Zeeland, and increase annual processing capacity by more than 50%: now one million mattresses a year can be recycled across the three locations, which goes a long way to tackling the Netherlands’ waste mattress problem – around 1.5 million mattresses are thrown away there every year.

RetourMatras removes metal parts, textiles and foam from the mattresses, which are used as secondary products in sports mats, gymnasium floors, soft playground surfaces and furniture filling. Around 90% of the mattress materials can be recycled, and the remaining 10% are used to create energy. All of which means a contribution to the circular economy that we can be proud of.

Renewi’s investment was accompanied by a similar one made by Ingka Investments (part of the Ingka Group, which includes the 12 IKEA stores in the Netherlands).

Our involvement is, however, more than financial. Our Renewi trucks will be transporting containers of up to 100 discarded mattresses at a time, from hotels, care homes, cruise ships and governmentowned accommodation, to RetourMatras. Repurposing one 40m3 container of mattresses, rather than incinerating them as waste, saves 533kg of CO2. For RetourMatras’s recycling output of one million mattresses a year, this means a CO2 saving of 48kg of CO2 equivalent per mattress annually. As Renewi CEO Otto de Bont puts it: “This collaboration fits perfectly with our role as a connecting link in the circular economy.”


Renewi CEO Otto de Bont