IKEA bans all single-use plastic from its stores and restaurants
OAK CREEK — No more plastic with those Swedish meatballs!
IKEA said Thursday it will phase out all single-use plastic products from its shops and restaurants by 2020.
The Swedish furniture giant said it will stop selling single-use plastic products like straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags, and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.
Its restaurants will also stop giving out plastic straws, cups, plates, cutlery, drink stirrers and plastic containers for freshly prepared food.
The company announced the ban as part of a broader sustainability strategy, in which it committed to become “people and planet positive by 2030.”
IKEA said it is aiming at purchasing 100% renewable energy by 2020, and use only renewable and recycled materials in its products. It also wants to make its home deliveries zero emission by 2025.
It has already invested €1.7 billion ($2 billion) into renewable energy projects. It is planning to build 416 wind turbines and has already installed around 750,000 solar panels on IKEA buildings.
“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet”, said Torbjörn Lööf, the CEO of IKEA’s parent company Inter IKEA Group.
Plastic, with its low cost and wide range of possible uses, has become one of the world’s most popular materials. Its use increased 20-fold in the past 50 years and is expected to double again in the next 20 years.
But the environmental costs are monumental. Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world’s oceans by 2050.
On a global basis, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling. The reuse rate is terrible compared to other materials — 58% of paper and up to 90% of iron and steel gets recycled
The European Union announced last week it wants to ban 10 single use plastic items, including plastic straws and cutlery, that make up 70% of all litter in EU waters and on beaches.