Upon arriving at this year’s Olympics, athletes were met with a single mattress on a cardboard bed frame. Airweave, an innovative Japanese Mattress brand are responsible for producing a customisable mattress, providing nearly 18,000 beds for the games, 8,000 of which will be repurposed for the Paralympics.

Athletes can adapt their mattresses composed of three separate blocks by changing the order of the blocks to suit their body type. In addition to being highly sustainable, the mattresses are specifically designed for athletes, providing relief for aching muscles and better-quality sleep.

Despite being dubbed as “anti-sex” beds, they provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. With the cardboard bed frames to be recycled into paper products and the mattresses made of polyethylene material to be reused to make plastic products following the Games – helping avoid thousands of beds going to landfill.  Although cardboard isn’t traditionally thought of as a strong material, experiments have shown each frame is expected to support up to 200kg. In fact, the frames are apparently designed to be stronger than wooden bed frames.

With a European recycling rate of 84%, cardboard is a great fit for a circular economy: it is no surprise that companies are wanting to use it. Cardboard is a renewable packaging material which is created from paper – made from a natural, renewable resource: wood. Wood can be produced in an endless cycle thanks to sustainable forest management.

To read more about Tokyo’s sustainability plan, click the link below

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