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Why not take recycling one step further and actually make new products out of waste? A few years back, someone at IKEA had this ‘crazy idea’… But now, this is turning into reality, saving money for the customers and finite resources for Mother Earth.
IKEA has never been afraid to ask big, audacious questions. By looking at the problem of waste and recycling a little differently, the company has set out on an exciting journey in sustainability and begun pioneering ways to turn trash into treasure. One example of an innovative use of ‘waste’ is SKRUTT (Swedish for ‘scrap’), a desk protector made out of used packing material.
 Two rectangular desk pads, one white and one black.
IKEA HIGHLIGHTS 2016
PROTECTING DESKS…
AND THE PLANET
WRITER: JOANNA LE PLUART
The desk pad contains 50% recycled materials, and the offcuts can go right back into production, so nothing is ever wasted.
It’s just a dream today, but SKRUTT was a dream just a short while ago. When we all work together, anything is possible!
A black rectangular desk pad on top of a white desk and some note books.A black plastic door mat outside the front door.blue boxFour plastic spray bottles on a line, one green, one red, one yellow and one white.
“There is also potential beyond plastics,” says Kent Larsson. For example, his team is now collecting discarded cardboard from IKEA stores, thinking that this too could be recycled into new products one day. “We’re exploring ways to recycle paper into board material that’s strong enough to become a table-top, a bookshelf or a magazine rack,” he says. “It’s just a dream today, but SKRUTT was a dream just a short while ago. When we all work together, anything is possible!”
brown box
Thinking bigger
SKRUTT became a reality in 2016 and immediately sold very well, especially in Asia. Following on from this success, IKEA is now looking at other products that can be made from waste materials. Look out for TOMAT spray bottles and YDBY doormats in store — two more products that are being created from recycled plastic film.
The SKRUTT solution
According the Earth Policy Institute, the world throws away more than a trillion plastic bags per year, and an estimated four to five million tons of plastic end up in our oceans. But it doesn’t have to. Plastic can be recycled again and again. Today’s packing materials can become tomorrow’s products. And when those products reach the end of their lifespan, they can be recycled once again into something new and useful.

Take SKRUTT, for instance. It starts as ‘scrap’ from the plastic film used to protect IKEA products during transit. Last year, Product Developer Kent Larsson and his team successfully devised a process for turning this particular kind of trash intro treasure.

“We collect discarded polyethylene film into bales which are sorted, cleaned, and fed into a grinder. The ground-up plastic is then washed, dried, melted together, and pressed through a mesh that removes any remaining impurities. The result is long, spaghetti-like strands of plastic, which are cut into pellets. These pellets are the ‘raw material’ that can then be turned into something new.”

For SKRUTT desk pads, the pellets are melted into sheets and cut to measure, giving a strong, flexible, lightweight pad that can be used to protect your desktop or any other surface your home, including furniture or flooring. “The desk pad contains 50 percent recycled materials, and the offcuts can go right back into production, so nothing is ever wasted,” says Kent Larsson.
Linequate
QUATE
MEET BILLY AT HIS
COUNTRYSIDE BIRTHPLACE
He has been around for nearly four decades. Most of us have either lived with him or gotten to know him at a friend’s place. Come along and meet BILLY at his countryside birthplace where about 4.5 million BILLY bookcases see daylight each year.
Get the full story about the BILLY production
PROTECTING DESKS
… AND THE PLANET
Why not take recycling one step further and actually make new products out of waste? A few years back, someone at IKEA had this ‘crazy idea’… But now, this is turning into reality, saving money for the customers and finite resources for Mother Earth.
Learn more about the crazy idea
PEEKING INTO THE WORLD’S
LARGEST PRINT PRODUCTION
Translated into 33 languages, in 48 different markets, reaching about 255 million people, this year’s IKEA Catalogue welcomed everyone to be themselves. The statement was clear: IKEA doesn’t design furniture for consumers - they design for people. And the reality? People are human, and humans are not perfect.
Get a peek behind the scenes
FURNITURE MADE OUT OF PAPER. NO, SERIOUSLY!
Sofas and chairs made from the same stuff as egg cartons? And bench tops and table legs made from bamboo? Anything is possible as IKEA design-teams explore a world of materials.
Learn more about new materials
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IKEA HIGHLIGHTS
Many companies, organisations and people, together, shape IKEA. Each and every person, idea and solution contribute to the big picture. IKEA Highlights collects stories from different parts of the IKEA world to describe this year’s accomplishments, quirks and maybe even a few slips. Good thing we’re all human.
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A FORCE FOR GOOD DESIGN
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, David Wahl was given a mission. A young IKEA designer, David was asked to produce a unique object that could defeat the darkness in homes across the planet, bringing light and hope to the many. The result was the IKEA PS Pendant lamp: a planet-like lighting fixture that ‘explodes’ at the pull of a string, spilling warm, glorious light across surrounding spaces.
Read the full story about the IKEA PS Pendant lamp
MOST THINGS STILL
REMAIN TO BE DONE
Have you ever wondered where IKEA came from? Or how a simple country boy from Småland was inspired to create one of the world’s leading brands and help create a better everyday life for millions of people?
Find the answers in the full story