CLIMATE: IKEA collects plastic furniture
as part of the Closing the loops project
IKEA customers and the general public were invited to return discarded plastic furniture to the Malmö and Helsingborg stores in Sweden during April. More than one tonne of plastic furniture was ‘donated’ and will now be part of an important test in the Closing the loops project to provide insights on recycling.
The ‘Plastics Donor campaign’ was one of the project activities aimed at creating a greater understanding of how products can become more recyclable and how recycled materials can be properly used. By using recycled materials instead of new raw materials, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced and natural resources conserved.
IKEA welcomed all sorts of plastic furniture during the activity – it did not have to be IKEA products, or consist exclusively of plastics. All donors were treated to coffee and cake and dedicated hosts were available to explain the project.
More than 90 percent of the collected plastics was polypropylene, which could be used to make new IKEA furniture or other home furnishing items. Stena Recycling will now analyse the other collected plastic materials to determine what they were, and a workshop with representatives from Stena Recycling, WWF and IKEA will be conducted to discuss what the materials could be used for. Also as part of the project, existing recycling systems will be mapped in Sweden, China and probably also in the US.
“Seeing waste as a resource and making products that can be reused or recycled is important if we are to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle," says Carolina Andrén, project leader for Closing the Loops at WWF Sweden.