Kungsbacka is a small Swedish town home to approximately 20,000 people. It's the name you might be calling your new fitted kitchen now that IKEA have just launched their KUNGSBACKA range made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET-bottles are made from the recyclable material polyethylene therephalate, but aren’t often recycled and end up as waste in landfills. The innovative production of the KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts means that a large quantity of PET-bottles are recycled and used to replace virgin oilbased plastic which is harmful to the environment. Each kitchen unit is made from reclaimed industrial wood which is then covered with a coating made from 25 plastic bottles. The home and furnishings giant aim to source 100 per cent of its wood, paper and cardboard from sustainable sources by August 2020 - it looks like this new range is the first of many innovative products and designs.
David Vine, IKEA UK & Ireland Kitchens Business Leader said: “The new KUNGSBACKA range is a start in turning everyday waste into beautiful furniture. At IKEA we are very conscious of the impact of waste, knowing that plastic bottles take up to 1,000 years to decompose and that 70 per cent of all PET bottles end up in either landfill or worse in our seas and oceans, is of concern. Today, 90 per cent of waste created in the kitchen is recycled but few think about the kitchen itself, we hope that the launch of this range will help people to think about the materials that are in their home furnishings and create a more sustainable home setting.”
The range was designed by a Swedish firm called ‘Form Us With Love’ whose CEO Jonas Pettersson was conscious about the impact of environmental waste. The business’ collaboration with IKEA demonstrates their desires to make secondary plastic a resource rather than waste. In general, sustainable products are still expensive to produce caused by the high research and development costs. However, both IKEA and Form Us With Love have worked to achieve a kitchen that is affordable by researching new production methods. Anna Granath, Product Developer at IKEA emphasises that it is important to make sustainable options available for everyone and price is an important aspect to get right.
Granath continued to say: “What we do at IKEA has a big impact on the environment due to the large quantities we produce so by using recycled materials, we can create products which are more environmentally-friendly and sustainable. Our ambition at IKEA is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products so we are looking into new ways to re-use materials, such as paper, fibre, foam and plastic, so that we can give them a new life in a new product.”
This production method is set to be a big contributor to IKEA’s sustainability agenda, with products in the future, such as the REINSVOLL wardrobe doors which launches in August 2017, featuring recycled foil. Like all IKEA kitchen fronts, the KUNGSBACKA range has 25-year guarantee and will be available this month in all their stores and online.
How are sustainability targets effecting IKEA's profits?
IKEA UK have already seen a 13.3 per cent rise in sales for sustainable living products which highlights the demand in the home and furnishings market. 2016 also became the first year that the Swedish firm achieved zero waste to landfill with 90.6 per cent of waste being recycled. If 2016’s efforts are anything to go by, then 2017 is expected to be even more successful. Bio-Based World News will be watching the press room in eagar anticipation!
What sustainable solutions have other retailers been working on?