INDIA/SWEDEN – IKEA, a Swedish-founded multinational group that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture said in its statement that it will begin selling the prototypes of its first rice-straw product, which will be paper boxes and decorations, during 2019 or 2020 in India.
In an attempt to reduce pollution in India, Ikea has decided to turn rice straw into household wares. To achieve its goal, the Swedish company is determined to only use recycled and renewable materials by 2030. Ikea’s ‘Better Air Now’ is the initiative under which the project has been undertaken.
An attempt to reduce air pollution
Ikea has planned on asking farmers to not burn the leftover straw after harvesting rice, but to give it to them so they can make use of it to reach their goal. Burning the straw creates alarming smog levels and is one of the reasons why India’s capital city is getting suffocated and our country is getting a reputation of being one of the most polluted cities in the world. World Health Organisation (WHO) says that 7 million people die every year by breathing in polluted air.
“If we can find a way to make use of rice straw it would become a valuable source for the farmers instead of being burnt, which in the end also would contribute to better air for people,” said Helene Davidsson, Sustainability Manager South Asia at IKEA Purchasing.
Ikea’s greener products
Ikea, over the years, has created a reputation for producing a lot of cheap furniture. Now, with customers demanding products which are greener, it is now on its way to building a reputation for being an environment’s champion. By 2020, Ikea’s products will contain no amount of single-use plastics, reported Hindustan Times.
Ikea said in its statement that it will begin selling the prototypes of its first rice-straw product, which will be paper boxes and decorations, during 2019 or 2020 in India. For the same, Ikea is working with India’s central and state governments, farmers, private companies and suppliers, said a report by Business Today. The statement also said that if its initiative succeeds, it may be expanded to more products and markets.
A model will be created by Ikea on how to reduce air pollution, a replica of which could be made in other megacities.
Before this project, Ikea had been developing air purifiers and air purifying curtains. “One of our main priorities is clean air and the ‘Better Air Now’ initiative is an important step on this journey,” said Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager, Inter IKEA Group. The rice-straw initiative will initially focus on India’s northern parts, and also New Delhi, Faridabad, and Gurugram. It will gradually expand to other parts of India.
The Logical Indian appreciates Ikea’s effort to create a better pollution-free tomorrow. We hope that the plans transform into reality.