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IKEA aims to use only recycled polyester in textile products by 2020

Today too much plastic and textiles end up in oceans and landfills. For Sweden-headed global furniture major IKEA these materials are not waste but valuable resources that can be used again and again. As one step on the way towards becoming a circular business, IKEA aims at replacing all virgin polyester with recycled polyester in textile products by 2020.

As one step on the way towards becoming a circular business, IKEA aims at replacing all virgin polyester with recycled polyester in textile products, such as the products shown, by 2020 (photo courtesy IKEA).

IKEA says that it is committed to ending the dependency on virgin fossil materials and use only renewable or recycled materials by 2030. By switching from virgin polyester to recycled polyester, IKEA will contribute to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, save energy, decrease pollution of landfills and oceans and using fewer resources by turning waste into products.

Today 50 percent of all polyester textile products produced by IKEA is made of recycled polyester, and through innovations and new designs, all products will be by next year.

Already today IKEA uses the equivalent of 5 billion collected and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in its textile product range. PET, a polymer of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, is the most common polyester resin and considered a highly recyclable plastic.

A kilogram of recycled polyester has half the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of that for virgin polyester.

We realise that aiming to replace all virgin polyester with recycled by 2020 is a bold target, and we know that it´s not an easy road ahead of us. But we are committed to ending our dependency on virgin fossil materials by 2030, and this is one important step on the way, said Nils Månsson, Material & Innovation Deployment Leader at IKEA of Sweden.

Through its size and business set-up, IKEA can influence a positive change in the world and also inspire others to follow. This will lead to bigger efforts to secure that bottles and food containers are collected and brought back into the recycling industry. Efforts to enable the recycling of polyester-based textiles will also increase.

From our own history, we know that when we overcome challenges it becomes opportunities. By recycling PET products, we’re giving them a second life. We also hope to inspire others to follow for a greater positive impact on people and planet, ended Nils Månsson.

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