NBF appoints postgraduate microbiologist as part of knowledge transfer partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University

The NBF has entered a three-year knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Manchester Metropolitan University (ManMet) and has received funding to appoint a postgraduate microbiologist, Sophie Hibberd, who will research how the industry can measure the cleanliness of reused and recycled materials from beds and mattresses.

The NBF has previously worked with ManMet to look at testing post-consumer materials to determine their bioburden, which subsequently laid the foundations for this new industry research project. The NBF recognised there was a need to delve deeper into this topic and find practical solutions to improve the rates of material reuse and therefore reduce the number of mattresses that end up in landfill.

The KTP aims to create an easily replicable, laboratory-free test that will quickly and easily indicate the cleanliness of a mattress filling/bed product.

Tristine Hargreaves, executive director of the NBF, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sophie to the NBF team and begin work on the cleanliness of fillings test, which has been a long time in coming in supporting the bed industry on its collective sustainability journey.

“With over 75% of mattresses ending up in landfill every year, we hope the test will allow more materials to be reused but also provide consumers with the peace of mind that reused does not mean dirty.”

Sophie Hibberd joined the NBF on 14th September and graduated from ManMet with a strong background in microbiology. Sophie’s academic credentials and expertise in microbiology make her the ideal candidate for this critical role. Sophie will split her time between ManMet and the NBF’s headquarters in Skipton, Yorkshire.

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