IKEA to Use 100 Percent Plastic-Free Packaging by 2028
The Swedish home furnishing giant vows to use completely plastic-free packaging material to reduce its environmental impact on the planet
IKEA is a multinational corporation that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home fixtures. The furnishing giant aims at using complete plastic-free consumer packaging from 2028 to become a fully “circular” company.
The implementation of their plan would be achieved in steps – the initiative towards becoming circular will begin by 2025 with the all-new plastic-free packaging for the company’s products, except for food packaging. The company emphasizes using paper packaging; meanwhile, they are also looking for some other potential wrapping materials.
Maja Kjellberg, packaging innovation leader at IKEA mentioned;
Paper is a very good material to use because it does come from renewable sources, and it has quite strong circular capabilities, but we’re not limiting ourselves to paper. We do want to use other materials going forward.
The company has an ongoing innovation program that hires startups and scale-ups to look for new ways of wrapping products and other materials that aren’t wood and fiber-based.
Earlier, the cooperation replaced Styrofoam with mushroom-based packaging but the idea didn’t work effectively as it could not meet the manufacturing demands of the company. Significantly, IKEA has also started to use the waste from its own coverings, such as packaging for textiles sewn from scraps of the material.
At present, the Sweden-based furniture giant spends nearly $113 billion on about 920,000 tons of packaging material, out of which most wrapping is made of paper. IKEA uses cardboard tubes and other paper backings inside the boxes while shipping items. Only ten percent of the company’s packaging consists of plastic, which is mostly being used in some food packaging.
So plastic will be used in food. But when we still have to use the plastics, we will make sure that they are from renewable sources or recycled.
Paper bags or wrappings are absolutely 100 percent biodegradable. It is reusable and recyclable but with the growing demand for papers, the rate of deforestation is also increasing.
The paper industry is responsible for chopping off thousands of trees every year, which begs the question – Is paper packaging really a better substitute for plastic wrapping? We definitely need some more innovative ideas and materials to replace plastics without disturbing the ecosystem.