IKEA announces furniture take-back service, plastic ban

Friday, 22 June, 2018

IKEA announces furniture take-back service, plastic ban

Sydneysiders can now give their unwanted IKEA furniture a second life by bringing it back to the store to be sold on to a new customer.

Research suggests that Australians are being more wasteful than they intend to, with more than half of the population (56%) having thrown out furniture in the last 12 months — even though a quarter would have kept it if they knew how to repair or re-use it. Now, to make it even easier for Australians to take part in a more circular economy, IKEA Tempe is unveiling both a Circular Living Pop-up Store and furniture take-back service.

For the next eight weeks, the pop-up store will give consumers an in-depth look at the recyclable and renewable materials that make up their favourite IKEA products. From turning plastic PET bottles into KUNGSBACKA kitchen cabinetry, to leftover glass into the IKEA PS 2017 Vase, the pop-up will showcase the stories behind the products while educating customers on the importance and value of the circular economy through sustainability workshops.

IKEA Tempe’s take-back service meanwhile incentivises customers to recycle unwanted goods instead of throwing them away. Customers simply need to fill out an online form and email photos of their old IKEA furniture, which will then be assessed by an IKEA worker. If their furniture qualifies for the service, the customer will then be offered a price for their furniture.

The customer has 14 days to bring their furniture to IKEA Tempe, where they will receive a voucher to be spent at IKEA Tempe. The furniture will be put up for sale at the same value of the voucher given to the customer.

The Tempe scheme joins existing IKEA programs that take back sofas, mattresses, batteries and light bulbs in stores across Australia.

“IKEA is focused on ensuring all our products are designed from the very beginning with the intention to be repaired, re-used, resold and eventually recycled,” said Kate Ringvall, Sustainability Manager at IKEA Australia. “In fact, 60% of our range is currently based on renewable materials. Our utmost priority is to generate as little waste as possible, but we can’t do it alone — it takes government, business, industry and the entire community to make a difference.

“With the launch of our Circular Living Pop-up Store and IKEA Tempe Take-Back Service, we want to make it easier than ever for Australians to live the sustainable life they desire.”

The news comes just two weeks after IKEA announced several new commitments to sustainability, with an ambition to become people and planet positive by 2030. One of the most significant of these is the removal of all single-use plastic products from the IKEA range globally and from customer and co-worker restaurants in stores by 2020.

Other commitments for 2030 include:

  • designing all IKEA products with new circular principles, with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials;
  • offering services that make it easier for people to bring home, care for and pass on products;
  • increasing the proportion of plant-based choices in the IKEA food offer, like the veggie hot dog launching globally in August 2018;
  • becoming climate positive and reducing the total IKEA climate footprint by an average of 70% per product;
  • achieving zero emissions home deliveries by 2025;
  • expanding the offer of affordable home solar solutions to 29 IKEA markets by 2025.

“Becoming truly circular means meeting people’s changing lifestyles, prolonging the life of products and materials and using resources in a smarter way,” said IKEA Sustainability Manager Lena Pripp-Kovac. “To make this a reality, we will design all products from the very beginning to be repurposed, repaired, re-used, resold and recycled.”

To become climate positive, IKEA will reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than the value chain emits by drastically reducing the climate footprint of products and operations in absolute terms, capturing and storing carbon within the value chain and working together with home furnishing suppliers across their entire factories. In addition, the company will enable customers to save and generate renewable energy at home.

“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than 1 billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” said Inter IKEA Group CEO Torbjörn Lööf.

“We are committed to taking the lead working together with everyone — from raw material suppliers all the way to our customers and partners.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/lightpoet

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