IKEA to stop selling single-use plastic products by 2020

Channel NewsAsia 8 Jun 18;

SINGAPORE: Swedish furniture giant IKEA will stop selling single-use plastic products such as straws, cups and freezer bags by Jan 1, 2020.

This would apply across all its stores globally, as part of its new commitments to promote sustainable living, IKEA said in a news release on Friday (Jun 8).

"IKEA recognises that single-use plastic can harm wildlife and pollute oceans and waterways when it is not disposed of reasonably. We are determined to play our part and take responsibility in the areas where we can make a difference," said the company.

The announcement came as part of the annual Democratic Design Days held in Almhult, Sweden, where IKEA designers displayed home furnishings made from recycled materials as well as solutions to help people live more sustainable lives.

This year, IKEA unveiled plans to be "climate-positive" by 2030. These include plans to pack products in materials that are renewable or recycled, and increase the proportion of plant-based choices in meals offered at IKEA.

Currently, 60 per cent of the IKEA range is based on renewable materials, while nearly 10 per cent contain recycled materials, an IKEA spokeswoman told Reuters.

IKEA Southeast Asia, the franchise that owns and operates all IKEA stores in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, will also be contributing to the cause.

Single-use plastic products that will not be sold by 2020 include SODA drinking straws, SÖTVATTEN drinking straws, FÖRNYBAR freezer bags, ISIGA ice-cube bags and FÖRSLUTAS garbage bags.

"It takes grit and determination to build a sustainable business, and we are on the way. We are actively integrating sustainability into every function and all aspects of our everyday work," said IKEA Southeast Asia sustainability director Lars Svensson.

“Most importantly, we are inviting our customers to join us in the journey. Through our solutions, we hope to see millions more people take little steps at home to save energy, reduce and recycle waste and conserve water."

Source: CNA/ng/(gs)

Ikea, Royal Caribbean take aim at single-use plastics in war against plastic waste
Jose Hong Straits Times 8 Jun 18;

SINGAPORE - In the latest battle in the war against plastic waste, Ikea said on Friday (June 8) that it will stop selling single-use plastic products by Jan 1, 2020, taking items such as plastic straws and freezer bags off the shelves.

The policy was decided at its annual Democratic Design Days event held in Sweden, where Ikea also committed to becoming climate positive - contributing more to the health of the environment than hurting it - by 2030.

The products that will be removed from its home furnishing range include Sotvatten drinking straws, Fornybar freezer bags, Isiga ice cube bags and Forslutas garbage bags.

Ikea South-east Asia sustainability director Lars Svensson said: "Through our solutions, we hope to see millions more people take little steps at home to save energy, reduce and recycle waste, and conserve water."

Separately, Royal Caribbean Cruises announced on the same day that the 50 ships across all its brands will stop using straws by the end of this year.

The brands are Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises and Pullmantur Cruceros.

The cruise giant currently provides straws only on request, and said that once 2019 begins, guests who ask for straws will receive paper ones. Royal Caribbean also plans to tackle the use of other single-use plastics on its ships, such as condiment packets, cups and bags.

Chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises Richard Fain said: "Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company. For over 25 years, our Save the Waves programme has guided us to reduce, reuse and recycle everything we can.

"Eliminating single-use plastics is another step in that programme."