England’s worst recycling offenders have been revealed, according to TFR Group, with the top three items taking up more than 26.2 million m³ of landfill space each year, the equivalent of 17,129 forests, according to shocking new research.
As England hurtles towards a serious landfill crisis, a number of household items are escalating the problem, with sofas sitting at the top spot, taking up 15.1 million m³ of space in landfill each year, the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium four times over. Duvets take second place with more than 22.8 million being sold annually, contributing to 7.2 million m3 of landfill space.
Mattresses, which are often seen as difficult and expensive to dispose of, bed in at third place, making up a significant portion of the problem with more than 7m discarded each year in the UK. If these were to be stacked up, the mattresses would be the same height as 1,352 of Dubai’s Burj Khalifas.
The findings have been revealed ahead of Global Recycling Day on the 18th March, which was created by The Global Recycling Foundation in 2018 to recognise and celebrate the importance recycling plays in securing the future of our planet.
TFR Group, who conducted the research, is calling for the UK industry to work together to build a joined up solution to create a circular economy, where products are designed and produced with recycling and the end of its life in mind.
The firm previously found that England’s landfill sites are set to burst by 2022 if nothing is done to stem the flow of waste being sent there, with only enough space for 175.1 million tonnes of waste left in total. Regions such as Sussex, Bedfordshire and the Isle of Wight are the most at risk if these three recycling offenders continue to be sent to landfill, with each having less than one million m3 of capacity remaining.
Nick Oettinger, Managing Director and Co-founder of leading mattress and soft furnishings recycling group, TFR Group, said: “With Global Recycling Day (18th March) just around the corner, our latest findings highlight the dangers of relying on our bursting landfill and we’re edging closer and closer to a waste disaster. It’s clear that there’s still a lot of groundwork to be done to create our much-needed circular economy, where products are designed with recyclability in mind. This is the only way we can truly solve our recycling and waste crisis.”
TFR Group is also calling on consumers to become #RecyclingHeroes in support of Global Recycling Day to ensure future of our environment.
Nick continued: “It’s crucial that consumers help support the UK’s mission towards achieving a circular economy. If consumers are unsure about how they can help prevent these recycling offenders from ending up in landfill, there are a number of responsible retailers in the UK who offer take-back schemes, which means they collect and recycle your old mattresses, duvets and sofas.”
TFR Group is currently one of a handful of firms in the UK tackling the mattress recycling problem head on and calling for a circular economy model across all waste sectors. The UK firm currently diverts 400,000 mattresses, and more than one million duvets and pillows away from landfill each year, and has recycled more than 1.5 million mattresses since launching, the equivalent of 330 Olympic-size swimming pools.