Ikea to begin removing plastic disposables from restaurants globally

Ikea has unveiled a new range of plastic-free disposable food service products, which will enable it to begin removing single-use-plastics from its food outlets from September.

Ikea serves more than 650 million diners globally every year, many of whom will opt for food or drink in to-go packaging. Image: Ikea

Ikea serves more than 650 million diners globally every year, many of whom will opt for food or drink in to-go packaging. Image: Ikea

 The new range of disposables includes wooden cutlery, as well as cups, bowls, plates and straws made from paper-based materials. Instead of the traditional virgin, fossil-fuel-based plastic coating traditionally used to waterproof the inside of coffee cups, the new cups will be coated with a sugar cane material.

Ikea has committed to ensuring that the products are made using raw materials from renewable sources and that all paper incorporated within them is certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The new range will first be introduced to stores in early September, before the products are rolled out across Ikea’s global network of in-store restaurants, bistros and cafés.

This roll-out is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 – the deadline which Ikea has set for eliminating all single-use products from food outlets for its customers and staff.

In a first step towards this target, Ikea last year removed plastic straws from all of its UK and Ireland stores. The last of its blue, single-use plastic straws was put on display in a glass cabinet, to signify that such products were now a thing of the past. Indeed, since the retailer took the decision, the UK Government has confirmed that plastic straws will be banned from sale in April 2020, along with plastic drinks stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

People and Planet Positive

Ikea’s 2020 ban on plastics in its food outlets forms part of the furniture retailer’s ‘People and Planet Positive’ sustainability strategy, which targets the removal of all single-use plastics from products by 2020 and a 2030 ambition to only use recycled or renewable raw materials.

The first Ikea sustainability report to be published since the strategy was launched last year revealed that 60% of all the raw materials sourced to produce products during 2018 were from “renewable” sources such as cotton and bamboo, with a further 10% accounted for by pre or post-consumer recycled material.

Ikea claims this progress puts the business “on track” to achieve 100% by 2030, but has admitted that it will need to work with industry to spur the creation of larger supply chains for recycled materials such as wood, plastic and fabrics. 

Sarah George



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