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How ISPA Is Creating Sustainable Solutions One Mattress At A Time

Do you want to offer sustainable solutions to your customers, but don’t know where to start? 

On today’s episode, Kinsley and Quinn sit down with Kate Caddy, Manager in Sustainability for the International Sleep Products Association and the Mattress Recycling Council, to discuss sustainability as it relates to the upcycling and recycling of old mattresses. She touches on the current legislation that has just passed in Oregon and what retailers need to be aware of on both the front and back end as it relates to mattress sales, collaboration in our industry and how to move the needle forward and the upcoming ISPA Sustainability Conference being held in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 16-17th, 2022 

Plus! Listen in for your chance to win a free ticket to the conference!


Mark Kinsley: [00:00:00] 50,000 mattresses are discarded each day in the That’s a big number. ISPA doing something about it, bringing the mattress together around sustainability and beyond it. We have a free registration to the ISPA Sustainability Conference coming up November 16th through 17th in Charlotte, North Carolina will tell you how to win the dose.

Marco Show begins right. We are so excited to have Kate Cady on the show today. Now, Kate, it’s my understanding that you went to the and Sealants Council Sustainability and it sounds like a rag of a good time, number one, and everybody called you the mattress lady.

Kate Caddy: They did. Yes. Well, yeah, when we gave that astounding stat with a 50,000 mattresses per day, I think there was a very audible gasp in, in the conference. So, a lot of people came up to me after the conference. Yes.[00:01:00]

Mark Kinsley: when, when you say there was an audible gas, people were surprised at the number. uh, did the folks from the, the, the adhesive in seal council have some immediate perspective on how much material that meant ended up in landfills? What, what was the gasp about in your mind?

kate_caddy: Um, I don’t think they realized the amount that goes in every day. And it’s 2.75 million pounds of material that’s, that is potentially land filled every. So I think it was really just a shock to everyone, not to us, not to the mattress cycling counselor Ifpa. know we’re working on, you know, solving that problem.

mark_kinsley: Yeah,

Mark Quinn: kid, it’s not just that it’s 50,000 a Yeah. And it’s not just that it’s 50,000 a day, it’s the type of materials that like don’t break down very easily. Right.

kate_caddy: Correct, yes, because there’s a combination of wood and steel and foam and, and various other, uh, textiles. Uh, just the properties of a mattress in general tend to, um, [00:02:00] sort of trickle to the surface of landfills and takes up valuable air space.

mark_kinsley: Airspace. Yeah. I don’t,

kate_caddy: Plus they’re recyclable.

mark_kinsley: Yeah. Yeah. And so I know from talking with the folks, Ispa and which is the Mattress Recycling Council. I wanna put this in perspective a little bit cuz we kind of jumped right into, like I said, the ra of a good time at the, uh, as C F is what I’m gonna call it from now, from now on the, the Adhesives and C conference. Um, it, it was a sticky situation right there, I’m sure, but, um, come on,

Mark Quinn did you do that? Why No, that is not forgivable. I am sorry. That was, that was horrible. Am I wrong, Kate? Was that

kate_caddy: knew it

come. No, we knew it was coming.

mark_kinsley: I don’t have children, but you don’t have to have children to have to be of age to do dad jokes. Okay. I’ve realized

kate_caddy: Excellent point.

Mark Quinn no, that’s a good dad joke. So anyway, keep your thought. I, [00:03:00] I would, I don’t wanna interrupt your flow.

mark_kinsley: We had three. So I wanna put this in perspective for retailers because, um, in three states there have been mattress recycling legislation passed, and for a long time it was just California, which is huge, seventh largest economy

But then we had Rhode Island in Connecticut where you are located, then

Oregon came online.

Just for people who don’t understand what passing the legislation did, can you explain that to us and then give us an update on Oregon?

kate_caddy: So, um, basically the law in Oregon was passed in March of 2022, and this is really where all of the, the work begins. so state is working on the regulations to clarify the legislative text so that we can to into the process and develop the plan. So MRC will be developing the plan and pro submitting that to this state, October 1st, 2020. Um, it’s very similar to the California program [00:04:00] that we have. So any, um, manufacturers or retailers that are already selling into California, it will be very similar to what they’re experiencing in that state.

mark_kinsley: and what are they experiencing For people who’ve never heard of this, what, what are they experiencing? What does it do? What does the legislation mandate? Um, what, what are the results of, of that mandate? What do re, what do retailers have to do? What do manufacturers have to do?

kate_caddy: Good question. Um, right now, um, what your listeners need to know in all manufacturers, retailers and porters, distributors or renovators need to do is that are selling into Oregon. need to with mrc. Um, we, it’s a requirement the law that they have to by December 21 of this year, then MRC has to, uh, it’s a statutory requirement that MRC provides a list of compliant retailers by, or retailers, all the list I just mentioned, um, that they need to report them by January one. So they need to register with That also [00:05:00] gives them, once they register, that’s a really great resource for them to be updated on the process of what’s, what’s occurring in Oregon, like the dates and stuff.

mark_kinsley: that sells mattresses into the state of Oregon, and we’re talking people who sell online and don’t have a, a nexus or a location in Oregon. So if you’re an online seller and you’re located. In New York, you know the state of New York, and you’re selling into the state of Oregon.

Any capacity you still have to register,

kate_caddy: Correct. Yes. Cuz basically what the law does is it, it we, it establishes that we can collect a recycling fee at point of sale for mattresses when you purchase a mattress in that state. And that mattress recycling fee is what funds the program, the collection network, the recyclers, the transportation, um, and all of the education and research and outreach that goes into the.

mark_kinsley: So let me, let me ask you from a consumers perspective, Let’s just say in a simplest form, walk into Mattress World [00:06:00] Northwest in Oregon, you buy a mattress. And what do you see on your bill? Do you see a fee on your bill?

kate_caddy: You will see. It’s a separate visible recycling fee that you’ll see on your.

mark_kinsley: And how much is it?

kate_caddy: Um, I’m not sure what Rhode or what, I’m sorry, what Oregons will be yet. That really depends on, they’re still establishing the budget, so we, we don’t really know what that, what that’s gonna look like.

mark_kinsley: it in the other states? In, in California, Connecticut, Rhode Island,

kate_caddy: Now you’re testing the mark? Um, I believe California is 10 50, um, and they’re all sort of in that range. Rhode Island is more expensive. It’s actually $16. Per unit.

mark_kinsley: And really the, the money that then, you know, I, I wanna help retailers understand what this means and how they can use this information to explain it to consumers. this fee going to help save the [00:07:00] planet in certain ways. So the fee is then, you know, for example, like you said, in the state of Oregon, you’re still setting up the supply chain program cuz you gotta get the mattresses back, you gotta get

kate_caddy: Mm.

mark_kinsley: break ’em down.

You gotta put all those. Parts and pieces into an upcycled environment cuz you know, the foam’s not gonna go to the same place that the steel is gonna go to in terms of upcycling that, so

worked out. All that infrastructure state of

kate_caddy: Mm-hmm.

mark_kinsley: out. Right. You’ve got a lot of that, that is in place.

Can you

What happens when a mattress

is taken back? Does, does the retailer, Is the retailer required take the ma the, the used mattress outta the consumer’s home and do something with.

kate_caddy: It varies by state. It depends on what the details are in the law. And to be honest, I, I’m not entirely sure about Oregons, but in California as it is, um, So we have, we have a plethora of, of methods of collecting mattresses. work within the structure, the, the waste collection structure in that particular [00:08:00] state. So in California and, and in all of our states, of them have We are able to put containers at those, at those transfer stations so that consumers can drop off for no cost when they’re, when they’re discarding a mattress. then we have and recyclers that collect those mattresses.

We also have, we operate in, um, what’s we call the cvp, which is the commercial volume program. So large volume generators like hotels, universities, retailers. We also have a collection network within those. So we will, we will work with retailers to help assist them, collect from, We won’t collect them directly from their consumer, but we can collect them from the retailer itself.

Mark Quinn And Kay, isn’t that.

mark_kinsley: Show with Kate Caddy with ispa, and we’re gonna get to the ISPA Sustainability Conference, which is coming up November 16th through the 17th. This is the. Ispa Sustainability that’s ever been hosted, completely focused [00:09:00] sustainability. You, you gotta take us in Kate to why this is

Why did ISPA put this conference together?

kate_caddy: that’s a, that’s a great question. I think, um, If you’ve went to the ispa Expo from 2018 to 2022, there was a major shift in what we were seeing as far as sustainability went. The

Mark Quinn Seven o’clock.

kate_caddy: was just, just erupted. Everyone all, all of the, um, exhibitors were just demonstrating different products, different manufacturing methods and various things related to say sustainability.

So the industry is already doing a lot in the sustainability space, and we really wanted to celebrate. We wanted to get the industry together to talk about their sustainability journeys and offer an event where companies can learn current and relevant information that’ll enhance that. Enhance that journey.

Mark Quinn: Okay. I wanna go back to something you said about the retail site isn’t one of the challenges and, and I’m sure that this is gonna be something that [00:10:00] is talked about at the conference, but setting this whole process up in a state, is it one of the biggest challenges to doing that? Like getting goods into the recycling centers?

kate_caddy: I think we may have lost him.

Mark Quinn: Uh, can you hear me okay?

kate_caddy: Yes.

Track 1: Yeah. So is it one of the challenges of setting up recycling in these states isn’t part of that problem? The logistics of doing that, Like literally getting the big ticket items that the mattresses to a recycling center. The stuff from the commissioning guys.

kate_caddy: it’s certain, it’s certainly a challenge, but I think we’ve, we. MRC has really done a good job at figuring out how, as I, as I said, to work within the framework. we also have a, a consumer arm. And back to your, your question earlier about consumers, how they know, [00:11:00] We have a consumer arm called Buy by Mattress, and that is that it’s buy by

It’s the website. And that website has a plethora of information about why, to recycle, why it’s important, where you can recycle, how you do it, what happens with the mattresses when they’re deconstructed. Um, and we refer to retailers, have retailers refer to their customers. Uh, there also have some material that we provide to retailers to help them provide information to their when they’re asked at point of sale about the inform. About the program?

mark_kinsley: Okay, so

Track 1: staying on the,

mark_kinsley: so people can go to Buy,

buy Mattress by, Right? Buy Buy

kate_caddy: Yes.

mark_kinsley: check that out for sure. Especially if you’re in one of these four states.

Track 1: So Kate, take us back in

kate_caddy: We’re always happy to talk about it.

Mark Quinn: for sure. So take us back into the conference, Kate. Like what kind of things are you guys gonna be talking about? Can you give us a, a little taste of the speakers and some of the sessions you’re gonna [00:12:00] have, give, uh, giver everyone, uh, some understanding of that and get them excited about coming.

kate_caddy: Yeah, I mean, I’m very excited. We’ve worked really hard to put together a program that provides relevant information for the industry regardless of where organizations are and their sustainability journey. There really is something for One of the main things is that is collaboration is in, in the sustainability world. with your value chain is critical. Um, are finding more and more that that’s going to enhance their program, enhance their products, and, and enhance the goods that they’re delivering to consumers. Um, some of the topics we’re talking about is the UN the sustainability development goals and how companies can align their with the, the goals and what tools are available. actually having someone come on that’s, uh, was part of the UN. development, sustainable development goals, task force that we’ll be talking about that. So he certainly, uh, knows what he’s talking about. [00:13:00] Um, we’re having an entire session on a very hot topic within world right now, which is greenwashing how to avoid greenwashing, maintain brand integrity by doing so, um, we are having someone talk about the proposed climate risk disclosure Which sounds riveting, I know. But, um, it is also, it’s very to publicly traded companies. Uh, well, it’s specific to publicly traded companies, but it impacts their entire value chain. So that’s going to be important. They’re going, they’re going to provide an update on the rule and how it’ll affect everyone’s value chain. We are also gonna have a session for the Mattress Recycling Council, which ob obviously I’m very excited. And they’re gonna be talking about research to develop new mattress, uh, uses for mattress components. They just completed an lca, which, uh, will, the information will be discussed at the conference and we’ll learn about our sleep product sustainability program.

That’s a mattress manufacturing [00:14:00] certification that California based companies can get, um, for sustainable manufacturing. And then also just learn about some of the things that MRC is doing to engage the value chain on circular design and, and new materials that are coming out on the market. Um, and we will have an industry panel as well that will be

mark_kinsley: design. Circular design. I keep hearing this come up over and over again. I understand what it means. For somebody who hasn’t heard about design, is I think is gonna start to impact the industry in the way that we. Source componentry, design componentry, construct mattresses, Take people through that circular design idea.

Cuz I think it’s really cool and I think it’s relevant to everybody, all the way from the consumer, um, up to the component supplier.

kate_caddy: Yeah, I think you already, you did a great job just, just teeing it up. It’s, it’s exactly that. It’s trying to keep material within, within circulation as long as possible. for mattresses, you know, when we [00:15:00] recycle, The foam, we’d like it to go. It currently goes to carpet pattern insulation, and that’s great.

But then what’s next after that? So instead of really just focusing on, know, a linear take, make, waste model, more of take, make, reuse, repurpose, you know, and trying to keep it in, in commerce as much as.

mark_kinsley: I just saw a cycling helmet, uh, by p uh, spelled and I got the email and I immediately thought, Of ispa. I thought of the mrc. I thought about our industry because this cycling helmet was built to disassemble and so it had all of the protection that one would need in case they hit their head while riding their bike.

Well, you wouldn’t be riding your bike at that point, I guess. but it also was able to be deconstructed then put back into the, the value chain from an up cycling stand. I thought that’s where we’re going. We’re gonna have to build with the end [00:16:00] in mind so that we can deconstruct these things and, and not have some of the components involved that prevent these individual materials that need to go to different places.

You know, these, they gotta travel on different highways, so we gotta be able to put ’em into their own individual cars and, you know, I’m sure that you talked a little bit about that or they thought about that at the adhesive. And Seal Council Sustainability Forum, because adhesives play a role in that, at least in the mattress Kate, I want people who want to get more connected to the mrc, to Kate Caddy, to ispa, and

be able to do that, so we got permission. Okay, so I’m, I’m not going off the rails yet, Quinn, as you to do, but we got permission to give away one free registration. To your upcoming sustainability conference happening November 16th, 17th Charlotte, North Carolina.

So, hey, if you’re listening and you wanna win a free registration, thanks to Ispa and our very own [00:17:00] Kate Caddy here on the show with us, here’s what you gotta do, okay? Get your pen handy or your phone, make a little note here I’m gonna give you the FAMs text number, okay? This is our podium text number, so all you gotta do is type this in.

Okay? You ready? 8 4 3 6 2 7 26 72. Text us and say, Here’s what you gotta say. I want to go to the conference. That’s all you have to say. I wanna go to the conference. You text us at 8 4 3 6 2 7 26 72. Say, I wanna go to the conference and we’re gonna hook

Mark Quinn: wanna go, I wanna go to the, I wanna go to the conference. Please don’t forget that part or Kate will just ignore the email completely.

kate_caddy: you gotta be

Track 1: You gotta be polite.

mark_kinsley: you’re texting Quinn though, you could say, Give me that stinking conference ticket. You’ll say, Okay, I’ll, I’ll see what I can do. Hey, Kate, thank you so much for coming on and talking about this. We’ll have [00:18:00] to follow up with you after the conference because I wanna know what excites people who are part of the industry, and I have a prediction to make at conference. Unlike the adhesives in sea count sustainability form, you’re probably not gonna be called a mattress.

kate_caddy: Probably. I will respond to it though.

mark_kinsley: right. Just yell at her. Hey mattress lady. How you doing?

Mark Quinn And, and Kate, we wanna say this to you. All the work you guys are doing is so terrific, so keep it up. Uh, we know it’s a heavy lift because there’s not a lot of people focused on that, but you and Ryan and Mary Helen and all the efforts you’re making, like, you know, there’s some recycling initiatives that.

Are out there that are important, but this one’s really important because a mattress is so big and it’s 50,000 a day is a major thing. So just keep doing what you’re doing and, uh, on behalf of us and everyone else out there thinks and, and keep it up. Keep up with the, keep up the good work, right.

mark_kinsley: And

kate_caddy: Well, thank you.

mark_kinsley: and [00:19:00] say, you know, the effort to get these types of legislation passed happen within the states, so everybody knows, I mean, Kate and the entire team at ispa and the RC and beyond. They can help if you have a state or you have a connection to a legislator that is interested in adopting a mattress recycling program. But what’s happened in California and Oregon and Connecticut and Rhode Island can happen in your state as well. But it has to start with people. It has to start with the people there. It doesn’t start with Kate Caddy and Mary Helen and Ryan and, and the team at is, but it starts with you. if you do have some connections, if you do want to be a pioneer in this, if you want to where the industry is going to go, in my opinion, you can get in touch and you should definitely go to the sustainability conference.

Kate, did we miss anything? Did we not ask you something that you feel like we, we, we need to be, uh, sharing here on the do Marco?[00:20:00]

kate_caddy: Um, I mean, how much time do you have? You know, if we could talk, I could talk about sustainability all day long, but No, I think I, I, you know, we’re very excited about the conference. I think it’s gonna be great. I’m really, we have a great lineup. have, the attendance is already very, very high. We’re really excited about all the organizations that have registered for the conference.

So I’m really, think it’s gonna be very for a lot of stakeholders. Um, and then just, you know, with, with Oregon, we’d love to come. Maybe in 2023 and give you more of a, a in depth update of where we are and, and where the process is going. You know, if anyone does have questions, they can always reach out to us directly.

We’re happy to help.

mark_kinsley: Kate Caddy with ispa and the ISPA Sustainability Conference coming up November 16, 17. Charlotte, like I said, hey, don’t be afraid to go ahead and text us right now on our podium number 8 4 3 6 2 7. 26 72 and say, I want to go to the conference, please. [00:21:00] Kate, thanks for being on the show. We appreciate you.

kate_caddy: Thanks for having me.

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