Stripping the bed on product stewardship

A Sustainability Journey, Bedroom, Home and Garden, Services, Social & Environmental Services

This is a sponsored article from member Australian Bedding Stewardship Council.

Approximately 1.8 million mattresses are disposed of in Australia each year. Placed end-to-end they would stretch from Darwin to the tip of Tasmania, with many of them ending up in landfill and some even on our streets.

With this growing problem it is no surprise that mattresses have made the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) Minister’s Priority List for the second year in a row. This list identifies the Minister’s current priorities for product stewardship action. The Priority List is made under the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 (RAWR Act).

Product Stewardship in Australia applies to everyone who imports, designs, produces, sells, uses and disposes of products having a shared responsibility to reduce the environmental and human health and safety impacts of those products.

Product stewardship schemes support the environmentally sound management of products and materials over their life. This includes at the end of their useful life. These arrangements may be voluntary, mandatory or shared with industry.

Product stewardship actions may include:

The Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC) is a not-for-profit, industry partnership established to tackle the bedding problem, in particular end-of-life mattresses.

Mattresses contain a range of materials such as natural and synthetic fibres, metal springs, latex rubber polyurethane and memory foam.​ Landfilling end-of-life mattresses has negative impacts on the environment and human health. They are bulky, present fire hazards, may contain chemicals of concern including flame retardants (e.g. PFAS), cause subsidence, can get caught in landfill machines and shredded particles can become airborne.​

Low or no material value of materials used within mattresses hampers the viability of recovery and recycling.​ There is also a consistent problem of illegal dumping by the community because mattresses are a bulky, heavy item that is difficult to dispose of. All this leads to unsafe landfills, unsightly kerbsides and loss of resources.

By working with Government of all levels, along with – supply chain, manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, the ABSC seeks to move towards a circular economy for mattresses and bedding products. 

The ABSC has plans. Big plans. Small plans.

Advocacy for industry

Research and Development​

Support for ​Regional Areas​

Social Reuse ​

To find out more about the ABSC visit

Click here for information about the Minister’s Priority List visit

This is an article from a Member. The views and opinions we express here don’t necessarily reflect our organisation.

by Australian Bedding Stewardship Council

This a sponsored post published on behalf of Australian Bedding Stewardship Council.