Ikea wants to stop using plastic in its sales packaging. Plastic packaging for new assortments is to be phased out by 2025. In the existing assortment, plastic packaging will be replaced by 2028. At the same time, the Swedish furniture retailer wants to push ahead with the development of innovative packaging solutions made primarily from renewable and recycled materials.
The sales packaging of Ikea products is an important part of the Swedish company’s business model as well as an important aspect in terms of affordability, sustainability, and safe handling. To counteract plastic waste and environmental pollution, Ikea has already significantly reduced the amount of plastic used in its packaging solutions. Even today, less than ten percent of the total packaging materials used each year are made of plastic, the company says.
“Eliminating plastic in sales packaging is the next major milestone in our journey to making packaging more sustainable, to fundamentally reducing plastic pollution and to developing packaging made from renewable and recycled materials. The transition will take place gradually over the coming years and the focus will be on paper as a recyclable and renewable material,” says Erik Olsen, Packaging & Identification Manager at Ikea in Sweden.
Ikea says it spends more than a billion euros annually on about 920,000 tons of packaging material. Moving away from plastic in sales packaging will require the development of new solutions and close collaboration with product development teams and suppliers around the world. Plastic packaging will continue to be used for only some products in Ikea’s food range – wherever it will still be necessary after 2028 for reasons of quality and food safety standards. But even in that case, they will come from renewable or recycled sources, the company says.
“Ingenuity is a tradition at Ikea, and the packaging of our products is no exception. Moving away from plastic in our sales packaging will undoubtedly be a challenge in the coming years. With our initiative, we aim to drive innovation in packaging and leverage our scale and reach to make a positive impact in the industry beyond our supply chain,” says Maja Kjellberg, Packaging Development Leader at Ikea in Sweden.