IKEA Strives To Phase Out Plastic From Product Packaging By 2028
By Mikelle Leow, 23 Nov 2021
Photo 228608698 © Dragan Andrii | Dreamstime.com
When you think of IKEA’s packaging, the first material that comes to mind might be cardboard. That’s because the Swedish giant has, for years, kept plastic use at a low—the material purportedly makes up just 10% of the company’s packing components.
IKEA is exploring ways to eliminate the leftover plastic that’s trickier to replace in hopes to make all packaging 100% plastic-free by 2028, as first reported by Fast Company. By 2025, it intends to phase out plastic packaging across all new IKEA products, save for food items that may still need it for food safety. It will then extend this initiative to all existing products.
The newer lightbulbs are already adopting cleaner packaging, says the news outlet. Previously, bulbs would be fitted in plastic blisters, but they now arrive in paper boxes. Meanwhile, the former default polystyrene packaging had long been replaced by cardboard, with cardboard inserts and other paper components as fillers.
Predictably, IKEA will continue to use paper as a key packaging material, since it’s proven to be practical and is renewable—“but we’re not limiting ourselves to [it],” Maja Kjellberg, packaging innovation leader at IKEA, tells Fast Company. The company has started repurposing waste from its production process, like fabric offcuts, to form packaging. It’s also working with startups that have come up with innovative alternatives, and deliberating on ways to scale them.
Food packaging, on the other hand, might still require plastic, though IKEA envisages using recycled plastics or plant-based “plastics” when the material is necessary, instead of the traditional fossil fuel-based version. Kjellberg explains that plastic remains to be one of “the most sustainable” materials for food packaging as it’s excellent at maintaining shelf life and slows down the process of food spoilage.
[via Fast Company, cover photo 228608698 © Dragan Andrii | Dreamstime.com]
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