Using RFID to Reduce Landfill Waste

Published: February 14, 2024

Avery Dennison is helping a leading European mattress company comply with EU Digital Product Passport (DPP) rules

Avery Dennison (AD) is teaming up with a leading European company in attempts to reduce the number of mattresses at landfills by one million over the next several years.

AD and TripleR recently announced an agreement with Aquinos Group to become the first in its sector to meet the upcoming EU Digital Product Passport (DPP) rules.

Starting this year, AD will begin tagging products with digital identifiers to products powered by its connected product cloud, providing those in the circularity chain with information about the origins and materials used in the product. This process creates a ‘digital twin’ with precise product information.

Sustainability Initiative

The initiative ensures that all bedding materials can be digitally identified and managed, helping to prevent them from going to waste and to aid the circular economy.

RFID Journal Live

“With TripleR and Avery Dennison, we are moving bedding sustainability beyond niche implementation to mainstream…crucial to (putting) an end to bedding materials going to waste,” said Benjamin Marien, international commercial director at Aquinos Bedding.

Mattress Away from Landfills

Aquinos Group manufactures products at its 20 European factories under the Aquinos Bedding banner that sells brands such as BEKA, Lattoflex, Swissflex, Schlaraffia, Sembella and Superba.

Many mattresses are made with recycling in mind but due to data not making it all the way to the recyclers, these efforts often go unrealized. The advent of DPPs means that dismantlers will have access to granular data as to exactly what mattresses are made of and how to recycle them.

As the brand owner of some of the leading European bedding brands, Aquinos plans to use its market share power to raise external awareness of the importance of DPPs.

“DPP sets the next important step in circularity,” said Marien. “By being the first in the industry to begin [DPP] compliance we want to lead by example to inspire the markets, our industry partners, and the bedding sector overall to advance environmentally responsible business practices.”

RFID Usage

Use of RFID tags should deliver a step-change in ensuring that as much of the materials is reused as possible, as Aquinos and TripleR are in alliance with the Belgian industry association Valumat.

Valumat is dedicated to recycling mattresses and enables consumers to dispose of their discarded mattresses at its recycling centers for free, with its primary goal to stimulate eco-design so that in the long term all the materials from discarded mattresses gets a new life.

As the DPP rules come into place, RFID tags are expected to be used in more sectors. Items will be scanned at recycling centers so that product dismantlers can instantly understand the materials used in manufacturing and separate them more efficiently and effectively so they can be used again.

Informed Consumer

Consumers will be able to scan the QR code with their smartphone to access detailed product information pre- and post-purchase in what authorities maintain will lead to better-informed purchasing decisions.

Michael Goller, senior director for at Avery Dennison, noted to date, it has proven difficult to do this in a cost-efficient manner—leading to millions of mattresses going to landfill each year.

“This is precisely why DPPs have been established and we are excited to push boundaries with our partners towards greater traceability, efficiency, and circularity,” Goller asid.

One Million Tags

When the DPP program for mattresses comes into force, Aquinos will have already tagged one million items – making it the first mattress producer to comply with the DPP scheme at a pan-EU scale. Some regions will become active even sooner—in Belgium all mattresses will be RFID-enabled by 2025.

Other sectors to be impacted by DPP include textiles, and industrial and electric vehicle batteries.

In the apparel segment, many companies have already been tagging their products with RFID, NFC and QR codes to collect and share product information, care instructions, repair/recycling instructions, sustainability credentials.

Advantage of RFID

Goller officials note that the company is a member of the CIRPASS-2 consortium in partnership with, that is among the lighthouse pilot initiatives that aim to bring DPP to life. By engaging with multiple stakeholders from retail to collection, as well as repairing and upcycling, the pilot enables collaboration and data exchange along the value chain.

RFID tags work better at scale in the recycling environment, without requiring a line of sight to read each data point that is needed for reading QR codes.

Goller highlighted that in a quick moving efficient supply chain, scanning each QR is incredibly time consuming; RFID works as a “one to many” technology, quickly capturing the data needed to make the right actions.

Benchmark for EU

Stefaan Cognie, co-founder, TripleR, noted they have already developed a digital Identification standard in the bedding industry in Belgium and are engaging with extended producer responsibility (EPR) bodies and mattress associations in different European countries, as well as with the overarching European Mattress Association EBIA to bring DPP compliance to fruition.

“This project is an important milestone and sets a benchmark for how the DPP scheme will operate across Europe to enable sustainability and circularity,” said Cognie.

Key Takeaways:
  • AD and TripleR, recently announced an agreement with Aquinos Group to become the first in its sector to be in line with the recently agreed EU Digital Product Passport (DPP) rules.
  • As the DPP rules come into place, RFID tags are expected to be used in more sectors.