Did you know that the resealable IKEA plastic bags you use all around the house and even on the go are made with a renewable material? ISTAD bags are made from plastic that comes from the sugar cane industry.* The material is both renewable and recyclable itself. This moves us toward a bigger goal: all plastic products being made with recycled or renewable material. With more than one billion plastic bags sold every year, we think this is a considerable step along the way.
"It’s a fantastic journey,” says Alexander Grouleff who’s working with plastic innovation at IKEA. “And it’s an extremely exciting challenge.”
Alexander's job is to bring new plastic technologies to the product developers at IKEA. He introduces them to alternatives and options that can replace fossil fuel plastics and move IKEA closer to the goal of working exclusively with recycled or renewable plastics.
“ISTAD was one of my favourite products before. Now, even more so.”
Making the most of our planet’s resources
Alexander believes it's not enough to just offer products made from renewable plastics—our products shouldn't become waste themselves.
"We apply closed loop thinking to everything we do,” Alexander says. “It’s the idea that there isn't an end-of-life for any material. Instead, products can be continuously recycled, up-cycled, down-cycled—whatever! But never wasted.
No need to choose between sustainability and quality
We want to make it simple and affordable to live a more sustainable life at home. Changing the type of plastic ISTAD is made from, and not changing the quality or value, is one way to do that.
“It's about making sure that sustainability is not a luxury, it's for the many people.”
*ISTAD bags are made of plastic that consists of at least 20% renewable content.
What is PE plastic?
PE, or polyethylene, is a versatile plastic with many uses. It can be soft and flexible as well as tough and strong. At IKEA we use PE for things like plastic bags, freezer bags, ice packs and chopping boards. A big reason why we like this plastic is that it can be made from renewable raw materials like corn and sugar cane.