11 Juli 2007

UK: IKEA switches to re-usable starch carrier bags

Furniture giant Ikea will no longer supply single-use plastic carrier bags across its UK stores from this week and is developing a re-usable corn starch bag for life.

Ikea is believed to be the first major UK retailer to have taken the step. And the move means it will be abandoning the single-use corn starch bags it launched with much fanfare across its 15 stores at the end of last year. Customers will instead be encouraged to purchase Ikea’s reusable blue bag and the chain has introduced a smaller version of the bag – the baby blue. Ikea blue bags are made from polypropylene but the chain is developing a corn starch based version and is at the prototype stage.

Chair of the Environment Agency, Sir John Harman, welcomed the move and said it would “encourage more people to use a reusable bag-for-life and to recycle any surplus plastic bags they already have.”

Last year at World Environment Day Ikea UK pledged to cut plastic bag use from 32m to 12m a year but has since managed to cut its annual bag usage by 95% to 1.6m. It was then that the store decided to accelerate its plan to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags it handed out by refusing to stock them.

(Cf. news of 2006-06-06 and 2007-05-25.)

Source: prw.com, 2007-07-09.

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