IKEA to go green, eliminate single-use plastic

By Parul Soni

Almhult (Sweden), June 8 (IANS) Leading Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA has announced that it will outlaw single-use plastic products from its global stores and restaurants by the end of 2019.

It will also come up with a range that can be repaired, restored and recycled.

The move was announced during a June 7-8 IKEA Democratic Design Days 2018 event here and is part of the retailer’s plan to achieve zero emissions by 2025.

To realize the goal, the furniture chain, founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, pledged to design all its products by using only renewable and recycled materials.

IKEA has over 400 stores in 49 countries and will be launching its highly awaited store in Hyderabad soon.

During the event, the multinational group showcased an interesting product — a tap nozzle — that can help save over 90 per cent of water used.

Another highlight was solar panels and the chain that offered more plant based food options in its eateries.

IKEA said that “our rapidly changing world and increasing climate threat calls for more ambitious goals and urgent action.

“Sustainability ambitions and commitments are set for 2030 in line with the UN Sustainable Development,” it said.

Torbjorn Loof, the chief executive of the chain’s parent inter IKEA group, said: “Through our size and reach, we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives within the limits of the planet.”

Loof said that change will only be possible if “we collaborate with others and nurture entrepreneurship”.

“We cannot achieve our goals alone. Therefore, we are committed to working together and being transparent about what we learn,” according to the furniture retailer.

The measure to phase out single-use plastic comes as it can prove extremely harmful for marine life.

A UN environment report under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution” released on World Environment Day on June 5 urged individuals, governments and public and private sectors to examine joint solutions “to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health”.

(Parul Soni is in Almhult, Sweden, at the invitation of IKEA. She can be reached on parul.s@ians.in)

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