As we all become more conscious of our impact on the environment, it’s only natural that our attention should ultimately turn to the disposal of our mattresses. Mattresses are huge bulky objects comprised of foam, fiber and springs. And in most cases, the materials in your mattress aren’t going to biodegrade anytime soon while sitting in a landfill.
Fortunately, the mattress industry itself has started to focus on this issue. Rather than have regulations imposed state by state, ISPA (the nation’s largest mattress industry association) is now working with a state senator in California to spearhead a mattress recycling initiative that could conceivably be copied by many other states. Given California’s trend-setting track record with adopting progressive regulations and leading changes in consumer behavior, this seems like a very smart move by the industry — history shows that in matters like this, where California goes the rest of the nation will ultimately follow.
Another smart move by the industry has been to work with key industry players to build support for their initiative. As one example, leading California-based mattress retailer Sleep Train has already expressed their support for the efforts underway here in their home state.
The cost of inaction by the mattress industry would undoubtedly be high — first to companies that make and sell mattresses, but ultimately to consumers as well. Early evidence already shows that without a clear blueprint to follow, state-level mattress recycling regulations will happen, and are likely to vary widely from state to state. This would force mattress manufacturers and retailers to adapt their practices on a state by state basis — a very costly prospect. And as with all things, a significant portion of this added cost is sure to be passed along to the end consumers. As such, the alternative of a well thought-out plan that originates in one of our most progressive states seems like a win for all parties.
In light of these circumstances, we urge consumers and businesses to get behind the effort being led by CA state senator Lou Correa to put together a thoughtful approach to mattress recycling. With the success of this effort, we look forward to seeing vastly increased adoption of mattress recycling practices, both here in California as well as more broadly across the U.S.