World’s largest furniture retailer looks at giving new life to old stuff

It may be a contributor to a large amount of the supposedly useless stuff that makes its way to landfills, but IKEA wants to provide an alternative, more sustainable solutions for its customers.

IKEA may make affordable furniture, but that shouldn’t mean it is disposable. With various recycling programs around the globe, including Australia, IKEA is on a mission to change customer’s perceptions and encourage recycling.

IKEA recycling initiatives across the world

In France and Belgium there is the Second Life for Furniture program. Customers bring in their old IKEA items that they no longer have a use for or want to replace and can exchange them for an IKEA store voucher. IKEA will either resell the items or recycle them.

Reverse vending machines are becoming increasingly popular to encourage recycling, as we have seen in both Sydney and Beijing. IKEA’s reverse vending machine pilot program takes place in London, where residents can insert used light bulbs in exchange for a coffee voucher.

In some countries, IKEA has found that incentivising is not even required. People merely want a recycling solution, rather than dumping used items in the rubbish. In Moscow, IKEA launched a battery recycling program, which in the space of a few months collected six tons of batteries.




Mattress recycling for the betterment of the environment

When the time arrives to replace your mattress, no one feels comfortable leaving it to be added to a landfill. Thankfully there are organisations in place, we previously wrote about how Soft Landing is making a difference in Australia, who are utilising and recycling the different components of a mattress.

IKEA is another one of these companies trying to make a difference. Together with a partnership with Soft Landing, they provide a pick-up service for your old mattress when they deliver your new IKEA mattress. For a fee of AU$30 (excludes the initial mattress delivery fee) they will collect your mattress and then Soft Landing will get to work stripping it down to its bare components that are either recycled or upcycled.

The IKEA Mattress takeback and recycling service is currently available in New South Wales and Victoria.    


IKEA’s Perth store welcomes cardboard, batteries, and light bulbs

Whether you suddenly have a surplus of cardboard packaging from your recent IKEA shopping trip, or you have a collection of old batteries or light bulbs that you don’t know how to recycle, the Perth IKEA store is the answer.

The store has recycling bins in the parking lot and in store to help you with your recycling.

Future endeavours for IKEA include finding ways to recycle old furniture into cheaper furniture. They are also exploring the possibility of 3D printing for spare parts ensuring a quick replacement and thus avoid an item being replaced completely.

Image credits: rarye; FlickrMissy S.; Flickr | Angie Linder; Flickr
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