Why IKEA Is Planning to Switch Out Single-Use Plastic
As if we needed another reason to love the Swedish home store.
We're already obsessed with their budget-friendly furniture and minimalist designs. But this week, IKEA gave us another reason to love them as the company announced a plan to eliminate all single-use plastic items from their stores and restaurants by 2020.
The move is part of the company's larger People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy and would be carried out in the chain's 363 stores worldwide. Affected plastic items include plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, bin bags, and plastic-coated paper items, like coffee cups. In their place, the company will be seeking out sustainable alternatives.
Currently, with the rate at which we are tossing out single-use plastic items, such as bottles, bags, and cups, researchers predict that by 2050, the oceans will carry more plastic than fish and nearly 99 percent of seabirds will have ingested some sort of plastic debris. According to the Surfrider Foundation, there are currently over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with that number continuing to grow every day.
Fortunately, this isn't IKEA's first effort to help the planet. The retailer already owns more wind turbines than stores and in 2016, the company offset 71 percent of its energy consumption. As part of their sustainable strategy, IKEA is also working to achieve zero emission home deliveries by 2025 and a more circular design principle with a goal to only use renewable and recycled materials.