EPR for mattresses and Valumat
On 1 January 2021, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for mattresses entered into force in Belgium. This means that all producers and importers of mattresses are now responsible for the waste streams generated from the sale of mattresses in Belgium. They therefore need to partly cover the costs of collection and processing, and also meet the collection and recycling targets set by law.
Together with several mattress manufacturers and the sector federations Comeos and Navem, Fedustria set up the non-profit organisation Valumat, the management body for EPR for mattresses. Valumat vzw collectively implements the obligations arising from EPR on behalf of all member producers and importers. Producers and importers who join Valumat are obliged to pay an environmental contribution based on the number of mattresses they sell on the Belgian market. This environmental contribution is then passed on to the customer, meaning that the end consumer ultimately pays for it.
The unique feature of EPR is that, on the initiative of Valumat, there is an important role for eco-innovation and design for circularity. Various Belgian mattress manufacturers have already launched a circular mattress on the market, and in the next few years we expect many more evolutions in this area. In this regard, Belgian mattress manufacturers are playing a leading role in this area at the international level.
More information on extended producer responsibility in the area of mattresses is available through the website www.valumat.be.