Pocketed coiled innerspring units, because of the superior qualities that they give to a mattress, have become very popular over the past decade. Given the 8-10 year life span of a mattress and the ever growing popularity of pocketed coils, there will be a continued increase in the number of pocketed coils that will require disposal.
Mattress manufacturers have done a great job marketing and appealing to customers, but have they considered the future of their businesses? Have manufacturers considered how Environmental Responsibility might impact their product moving forward?
The Mattress Recycling Council funded by ISPA has made a valiant effort over the years in furthering responsible recycling of mattresses. In states like California, laws have been passed making owners and mattress companies responsible for proper collection of old mattresses. Many of the components of the mattress can be deconstructed and recycled, but the deconstruction of the pocketed coil innerspring has presented a significant problem. The process is done by hand and there are fewer and fewer recyclers willing or able to deconstruct the pocketed coil due to expense. The majority of coils are therefore still sent to landfills. In Connecticut some innersprings are sent to burn facilities, which is not environmentally friendly.
Our world is changing and there is a heightened awareness of the environmental consequences of ever increasing landfills as well as waste disposal. The Environmental Protection Agencies across the country are searching for ways to manufacture products that are recyclable and sustainable. Glue penetrates the polypropylene fabric, contaminating it, and as a result renders the fabric unrecyclable.
We at Texas Pocket Springs believe that the EPA and state demands will continue to be more and more stringent and that forward thinking and innovation is essential. We have already engineered a proprietary technology that eliminates the need for glue rendering the fabric recyclable and sustainable and we are diligently working to find ways to economically deconstruct the innerspring so that the fabric and springs are truly recyclable and sustainable. Without the contamination of glue, both the fabric and coils can be recycled in their original form, and mattresses become truly sustainable.
We as manufacturers need to decide whether we sit back and allow status quo or is it in our best interest to be proactive. We need to ask ourselves—will we wake up one morning and find that new legislation has resulted in the demise of the pocketed coil?