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Waste

Close-up of mouth-blown glass vases made of melted glass in various marble shades from leftover glass remnants.

Thinking in circles

At IKEA, we always look for ways to make more from less. But to help our customers create a better life at home, in a world where resources are scarce, we have to up our game. We need to rethink everything from the materials we use, to how we power our stores, and how we can make our products live longer in a cycle of repair, reuse, and recycling. Throughout our value chain, we aim to use renewable and recycled resources as efficiently as possible, to make sure that we create value rather than waste. And when you bring the products home, we want to help you make them live longer, or give them a new life when you no longer need them.

 


Doing things right from the start

To make the world a more sustainable place we have to begin somewhere. By planning for our products’ next life at the design stage, we get a head start. To make more from less, we also use materials that are renewable and recycled and from more sustainable sources. Our products must last as long as they are needed and be easy to care for, repair, reuse, reassemble, and recycle. The better we do this, the better for people and the planet.

A second, third or even fourth life. Maybe your new PLATSA storage will start its life as a media bench in the living room, to then transform into a wardrobe under the slanting ceiling of the bedroom ─ and then a few years later become the home to all outerwear in your new hallway. With PLATSA storage system, we wanted to create a simple yet beautiful solution, that can follow you on all the winding roads of life.

PLATSA takes flexibility to a whole new level. So, instead of letting space be a limitation, this lightweight storage system optimises the space you have. It opens up to build under, above or around - mixing functions and styles as you wish. PLATSA uses wedge dowels, a click-technique that drastically reduces the time taken to assemble and disassemble. We think this prolongs the life of your PLATSA and goes hand in hand with a more sustainable lifestyle.


See PLATSA series

Old materials, new surfaces

Call us cheap, but we don’t like throwing things away. We see waste for what it really is – a resource – and look for ways to use more recycled materials in our products. That’s why we created the REINSVOLL wardrobe door. It’s made of recycled wood covered with plastic foil made from recycled PET bottles. No new wood needed, and no new plastic made from oil. And although REINSVOLL is a sustainable choice, of course, it doesn’t compromise on quality, design or price.
A film showing how to turn recycled wood and PET-bottles into kitchen doors and drawer fronts.

Pioneering kitchen fronts

REINSVOLL isn’t our first product made entirely from 100% recycled FSC(R) certified wood and PET-bottles. The KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts, with their sleek design and anti-fingerprint surface, have the same origin.

Every year, about 100 billion PET water bottles are used worldwide but only 30% are recycled. By giving them a new life as foil for doors and kitchen fronts, we show that recycling is not only the right thing to do, it also results in beautiful new products.

Can 1,4 billion re-sealable plastic bags make a difference?

We hope so, as we proudly present our first ever large-scale plastic product based on renewable material. It’s the all-round plastic bag ISTAD that is now made mostly (85%) of a renewable material from the sugar cane industry. The shift is expected to save around 75 000 barrels of oil yearly, helping us to reduce our carbon footprint.

And, although plastic based on renewable material costs more to produce than conventional plastic, it won’t show on the price tag. At IKEA we believe that everyone, not just a few, should be able to afford to make sustainable choices. 

Wipe your shoes on recycled PET bottles. Using waste as a resource takes us one step closer to a more sustainable future. Six PET bottles are used to make one sturdy MEJLS doormat, perfect for hallways and other hardworking areas of your home.

A brighter future. With a RORSLEV doormat mostly made from recycled PET bottles instead of new raw materials, you can feel good about having contributed to leaving a smaller footprint on the environment, as well as getting fewer footprints in your hallway.

Marrying ethics and aesthetics. Can you believe that this poetic HANNALENA curtain, was once PET bottles that would otherwise end up as waste? They’re recycled into polyester fibres with a technique that uses no chemicals or extra water.

No ordinary box. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. To us, the practical storage box KUGGIS, to 70% made from recycled PET plastic bottles, is one of those gems. Flexible, good looking and recyclable, it will be your best friend for storage – over and over again.


A display of waste sorting bins in different sizes and shapes for recycling paper, bottles, batteries and so on.

Towards zero waste

At IKEA Group we have decided to eliminate waste from all our operations and to be energy independent by 2020. This is no small feat, but together with suppliers, partners and customers we have the goal within reach.
 
IKEA of Sweden is also working through the whole supply chain with suppliers and partners to produce and distribute our products in the most efficient way. This includes minimizing waste in our value chain and turning it into a resource by using it to make new products.
 

 

Did you know?

In 2017, 83% of waste is recycled or energy recovered across our operations.

The beauty of broken glass

The glass used to produce the IKEA PS 2017 vase has a story to tell. Having been rejected in its first life due to bubbles or other defects, the broken glass is re-melted and mouth blown by skilled craftsmen into mass-produced items. Yet the character of each piece of glass lives on, bringing a unique mix of colours and patterns to each vase. By re-using the glass instead of discarding it as waste, we save on valuable and limited resources, while bringing extra character to your home.

Step on it

TÅNUM is hand-made, giving each rug its own individual beauty. And even better – we use recycled cotton from our own operations to make it. More than 90% of the material used is leftover fabric from bed linen production. When you step on a TÅNUM rug you leave a smaller environmental footprint.

Did you know?

By 2020, 90% of the waste from our own operations will be recycled or energy recovered. 80% of the waste from our stores and distribution centres will be material recycled.


A person sorting recycled textiles.

Give things another chance

At IKEA we want our customers to love and care for our products as long as possible – and even if they don’t, we do. Across our network of stores, we try smarter and more planet-friendly ways to prolong the life of our products. In Belgium for example, we offer our customers five options to give furniture a second life: selling old IKEA-furniture in the store, renewing it by repainting or reassembling, repairing by offering replacement parts, returning old furniture through our transport service and donating to social organisations. 
 
On a global basis, we offer all customers replacement parts, and most markets have mattress takeback initiatives where you can return your old mattress when buying a new one. Seize the opportunity to breathe new life into your old furniture or give it a new life in our care.