Packaging is a key component of the IKEA business model and an important enabler for affordability, sustainability, and safe handling. To combat plastic waste and pollution, IKEA has already significantly decreased the amount of plastic used in packaging solutions. Today, less than 10% of the total volume of packaging material used annually by IKEA consist of plastics. In closing the remaining gap by removing plastics from consumer packaging solutions, IKEA will continue the movement towards only using renewable or recycled materials.
“Phasing out plastic in consumer packaging is the next big step on our journey to make packaging solutions more sustainable and support the overall commitment to reduce plastic pollution and develop packaging from renewable and recycled materials. The shift will happen progressively over the coming years, and mainly be focusing on paper as it is both recyclable, renewable, and widely recycled across the world” says Erik Olsen, Packaging & Identification Manager at IKEA of Sweden.
On an annual basis, IKEA spends over 1 billion Euros on approximately 920 000 tonnes of packaging material. The movement away from plastic in consumer packaging will require the engineering of new solutions, as well as close collaboration with product development teams and IKEA suppliers across the world. Plastic packaging might remain in some parts of the IKEA food range where it is needed to secure quality and food safety standards beyond 2028, in which case it will come from renewable or recycled sources.
“Ingenuity is part of the IKEA heritage, and packaging is by no means an exception in that regard. Shifting away from plastic in our consumer packaging solutions will doubtlessly be a challenging task in the coming years. With this movement we aim to spur packaging innovation and use our size and reach to have a positive impact on the wider industry beyond our supply chain,” says Maja Kjellberg, Packaging Development Leader at IKEA of Sweden.