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The Circularity Statement

Working towards a safe and effective circular economy – A mattress case study


We all know that our current take, use and dispose approach to products is not sustainable. To protect public and environmental health for future generations, we must recognise the true value of the finite resources we have and move towards a circular economy where we repair, reuse, and recycle. Circular economy initiatives around the globe are advancing and recycling technology is improving, but one element is often overlooked, chemical content.

The lack of transparency and traceability of chemical content data in products means harmful substances can be recycled into new products that are not suitable for their use, threatening the effectiveness and success of our circular economy. This has already been observed in food packaging and children’s toys made from recycled materials, amongst numerous other household items [i],[ii],[iii],[iv].

At Fidra, we want to see a safe and successful circular economy that effectively manages chemicals throughout their lifecycle, and we know many others want the same. Using mattresses as a case study, we are working with retailers, manufacturers and suppliers to investigate options for sustainable chemical management within a circular economy using the following guiding principles:


  • Ending the unnecessary use of chemicals wherever possible
  • Improved chemical transparency and traceability along supply chains
  • Innovative product design to reduce reliance on chemical substances


Businesses in support of these principles:

If you’re interested in joining the Circularity Statement, please contact us via info@fidra.org.uk


[i] Puype F, Samsonek J, Knoop J, Egelkraut-Holtus M, Ortlieb M. Evidence of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) relevant substances in polymeric food-contact articles sold on the European market. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2015; 32 (3): 410- 26. 2.
Accessible: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19440049.2015.1009499

[ii] Samsonek J, Puype F. Occurrence of brominated flame retardants in black thermo cups and selected kitchen utensils purchased on the European market. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2013; 30 (11): 1976-86.

Accessible: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19440049.2013.829246

[iii] Turner A. Black plastics: Linear and circular economies, hazardous additives and marine pollution. Environ Int 2018; 117: 308-318.

Accessible: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412018302125

[iv] World Health Organization, 2018. Circular economy and health: opportunities and risks.

Accessible: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/374917/Circular-Economy_EN_WHO_web_august-2018.pdf