Barnoldswick firm Silentnight prevents 105 million plastic bottles being dumped

Bed manufacturer Silentnight has prevented a staggering 105 million plastic bottles from going into oceans and landfill in just one year after launching its new eco friendly mattress technology.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 10:11 am
Updated Monday, 30th July 2018, 10:17 am
Sean Farrington from the BBC (second left) with Silentnights Rob Livingstone, Grace Moorhouse, Nick Booth and Steve Freeman from Silentnight

The Eco Comfort mattress was launched as part of the company’s ambitious efforts to contribute towards a greener planet.

Each mattress uses Eco Comfort fibres manufactured from 150 plastic bottles.

During the manufacturing process, the bottles are crushed and spun into a fibre to form a breathable and sustainable comfort layer. Silentnight is the first UK bed manufacturer to pioneer a mattress filling made from recycled plastic bottles.

The Eco Comfort mattress range was developed following extensive research, trials and testing by Silentnight’s product innovations team. The Eco Comfort fibre is just one of many groundbreaking steps the brand is taking in a bid to become more sustainable.

The bedmaker – one of Pendle’s biggest employers – has announced a new partnership with the UK’s leading marine charity, Marine Conservation Society, pledging financial support for its work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution-free and protected.

As well as the financial backing, Silentnight staff will be getting involved in the charity’s programme of beach cleans and wider initiatives to protect of our seas, shores and wildlife. Last year alone, the Marine Conservation Society removed 568,000 pieces of litter from our coasts.

Silentnight is also on track to become a carbon-neutral business in August 2018 and is offsetting its fleet and factory emissions with tree planting initiatives across Lancashire and the North West. It has also developed a new programme to improve the fuel efficiency and route planning in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

The Barnoldswick-based company – one the most recognised brands in the industry – recycles 100% of its manufacturing waste, 90% of general waste is recycled and the brand is striving towards becoming a “zero to landfill” business and its ground-breaking work was featured on BBC Breakfast on Friday.

Silentnight mattresses are also no longer double-bagged for delivery, reducing packaging by 50%.

The company’s headboard department has cut its timber waste by almost 30% since December 2017, and plans to reduce it further by 10% through continuous improvement processes.

Across the business, the company has also reduced its lighting energy costs by 45% and reduced gas usage per £100k of turnover, by 21% from 2013 to 2016.

Silentnight’s “trade in” scheme means any customer who purchases a new mattress via its website or dedicated showrooms will have the option to have their old mattress taken away and responsibly disposed of by the bedmaker. Silentnight currently recycles around 35,000 mattresses every year.

Steve Freeman, Managing Director of Silentnight, said: “Programmes such as Blue Planet are showing us the true cost plastic waste has on the environment. Footage of marine life living amongst plastic waste is extremely hard-hitting and difficult to watch.

“The world needs to change the way it deals with waste, and at Silentnight we are committed to doing our bit to lead the way, particularly with sustainability and recyclability.

“Sustainability has been ingrained within the business for a long time, but we are constantly researching new recycling technologies and investing in more ways to re-use recyclable materials.

“Our eco range has proven to be a huge hit since its release. Both sustainable and extremely comfortable, the mattresses give customers two reasons to sleep soundly at night.

“In the past year alone, we have prevented 105 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or the sea – this is enough plastic bottles that if laid end to end it would stretch from London to the South Pole and back again, and we are incredibly proud to be making a difference.

“We have also developed a new programme to improve the fuel efficiency and route planning in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.”

Last year Silentnight won the Sustainability Award from The Furniture Makers’ Company (the British furnishing industry’s charity), recognising the company’s commitment to having a positive impact on the planet.