For a latex mattress, a large amount of rubber tree resin is required. A 160×190 cm double mattress requires approximately 45 kilograms of latex; to get all the necessary resin you need 12 acres of rubber tree cultivation and a whole day of harvest; figures that must be halved for a single latex mattress. At the latex collection for a double mattress, usually, 8 people work, logically for a whole day.
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A rubber tree plantation can be extended for about 2000 acres, in which more than 380,000 plants are stored for latex harvesting. From these, the resin is collected 7 months each year since the harvest strongly depends on the rainy season. Another factor that affects the amount of latex that can be used is the presence of impurities, dirt and excess water which often reach up to 1/3 of the total weight of the unworked resin.
Consequently, the figures in the previous paragraph, which at first reading may seem disproportionate, should be read taking into account this factor.
Does latex really have zero impact?
As can be understood, a great deal of space, time and work is required from the moment of collection. If from an environmental point of view a large plantation of latex is useful to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, managing to “consume” in a year almost 24000 tons of CO2. From another point of view, the large monoculture plantations cause serious damage to the ecosystem, significantly reducing the biodiversity of the areas in which they are found. For this reason, numerous agreements and regulations provide for the forest corridors necessary to protect the environment from one plantation to another.
Another ongoing debate is that of working conditions within them; many argue that many latex collectors are exploited and underpaid at the expense of what they want to see. However, this detail must be taken with the springs, as many manufacturers have a more than respectable human and environmental policy.