Ikea sustainability report shows zero waste to landfill

16th January 2017 | Recycling

Ikea has announced it has achieved zero waste to landfill in the UK for the first time. It now even turns a profit from waste, with recycled materials forming parts of its best-selling products.

The Swedish flatpack giant, which had sales of £1.72bn in Britain, no longer sends any rubbish from its 25 UK stores for burial. Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for the UK and Ireland, said waste is now a revenue stream at the launch of its 2016 sustainability report.

“A few years ago when we had something like half the number of stores we have today, waste cost us around £1 million a year,” she said. “We now have 20 stores and five pickup points and we actually make a small profit on waste. We’ve turned waste from a cost to a resource. The next step is not just about recycling, but it’s about using waste in our own operations.

“We don’t do this just because we’re tree huggers, we do this because it’s very cost effective,” she said.

Recycling Waste

Yarrow also revealed that cardboard is being recycled by Ikea to feature in one of its most symbolic products – the Billy bookcase.

“Take cardboard, big, big for us. Because of the cellulose fibres, you can actually only recycle it about seven times. They just get shorter and shorter and then you just end up with pulp. So recycling is good, but it’s not the panacea,” she said. “What we’re looking at now is to take this cardboard and then we are reusing it. We are incorporating it into the backboards of Billy bookcases.”

“Another waste that is a bit unavoidable is that on our pallets. To protect them, some of our products need to be wrapped in big reams of cling film and that is difficult to recycle. We are now keeping that ourselves and turning it into products.” The Tomat spray bottle is made from left over film which protects some Ikea products.

More information available on the website below