As part of its goal to become climate-positive and circular by 2030, Swedish furniture chain Ikea is working to eliminate the 10% of its packaging that still uses plastic.
The phase-out will be implemented in the coming years. By 2025, all new Ikea products will be packaged plastic-free, and three years later all existing products will be packaged plastic-free as well. The retailer does make an exception for the packaging of some food products, where plastic is necessary to maintain quality and food safety.
Paper will be used for much of the new packaging, although the company is also exploring other materials. “Paper is a very good material to use because it comes from renewable sources, and it has quite strong circular capabilities,” says Maja Kjellberg, Packaging Development Leader at Ikea.
Every year, the furniture chain spends over one billion euros on approximately 920,000 tonnes of packaging material, most of which is already made of paper. The polystyrene (Styrofoam) used in flat cardboard furniture packaging has been replaced by cardboard tubes and other paper materials for several years now. Currently, plastic still accounts for 10% of all packaging material.
“The removal of plastic packaging will undoubtedly be a challenging task in the coming years. With this movement, we hope to stimulate innovation in packaging and have a positive impact on the entire industry,” concludes Kjellberg.