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."