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Survey to get furniture into circular economy mode

Boosting the sustainability of furniture and improving end-of-life options are being explored in a survey launched by the Furniture Industry Research Association (Fira).

The survey is intended to help the industry meet waste reduction targets and is part of a wider project exploring the business case for a circular economy for the furniture industry.

Across the UK, more than one million tonnes of waste furniture and mattresses go to landfill each year and it is estimated that 90% of the raw materials used in manufacturing is wasted before the product leaves the factory.

Some 80% of products are discarded within six months.

A circular economy approach would aim to close the loop so that materials and products are kept in productive use for as long as possible, following the waste hierarchy.

Fira’s sustainability expert, James Bell, who is leading the research project, said: “The issue of waste is not going away. The statistics don’t lie: we live in a society predicated on unsustainable wastage and resource inefficiency.

“All of this despite the ever increasing cost of sending waste to landfill and the volatility of raw materials prices. A critical part of this initial feasibility study will be feedback from our members and other stakeholders, and we hope that this valuable consultation will underpin our future efforts in supporting and facilitating the industry’s transition to a circular economy.”

Click here to feed into the survey, which closes on 1 November 2015.

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