IKEA to use ocean-bound plastic as resource

The familiar IKEA banner

Swedish furniture chain IKEA intends to tackle the issue of plastic in our oceans. The company has joined the NextWave initiative, which plans to re-use plastic waste before it ends up in one of the oceans. IKEA is looking to position itself as the first commercial retail chain in the world to focus on plastic waste.


War against plastic already going on

At the start of the year, IKEA announced its commitment to stop using plastic disposable products from 2020 onward as part of the plan to turn into a circular company by 2030. The corporate giant is now also joining NextWave, an initiative that unites companies, researchers and NGOs to re-use ocean-bound plastic as a large-scale resource. Currently the oceans already contain 86 million tons of plastic. The term ocean-bound plastic refers to the plastic waste that will likely end up in the oceans: it means all the plastic near waterways that may find its way through rivers, lakes and seas to the oceans.


"The consequences of plastic pollution are severe and IKEA is determined to contribute to its solution in a positive and proactive way. Joining NextWave gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other companies, and develop a global network of ocean-bound plastic supply chains, learning from each other’s efforts and working together to ensure business, community and environmental benefit", says sustainability manager Lena Pripp Kovac.


IKEA has emphasised sustainability in its company goals: by 2030 the company wants to manufacture all products and packaging with renewable or recycled resources. This means no more plastic products based on fossil oil. By the end of 2019, the Swedish chain hopes to have manufactured its first prototypes of products made from ocean-bound plastic. “We want to make ocean-bound plastic into a commodity for the future and to take initiatives to prevent plastic from ending up in the ocean in the first place. We hope this membership will lead to new learnings and new innovations and that we can inspire other companies to follow.” says Lena Pripp Kovac.