The FEJKA artificial potted plant is one of IKEA’s most popular plant products. The product is designed as an alternative for real ivy plants and is a popular choice for home decoration. It is sold for a very cheap price of £6 or 8 US dollars.
IKEA is not very transparent when it comes to where the material is produced or where the material is sourced from. The FEJKA is mainly made out of Polyethylene plastic which is obviously not a good sign for the environment as it is not biodegradable.
IKEA has many commitments to help the planet and one of their commitments includes designing all IKEA products with new circular principles, with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials in their products by 2030. However, there is no current evidence of their progress towards these goals. Their website does not provide any information on their ethics nor updates on how IKEA is becoming more sustainable.
IKEA has many goals in order to achieve a circular business approach and sustainability but their mass production makes these goals hard to achieve.
The FEJKA is made out of Polyethylene plastic which has many negative impacts on the environment like releasing harmful toxins in the process of degrading.
The FEJKA is also made from concrete. The website does not specify or provide further information about the type of concrete they use in the product. It is not known where the concrete is sourced from and what it is made from so we do not know the environmental impacts of this material.
Furthermore, plastic, in general, contributes to the majority of our global waste. Their website claims that IKEA will only use ‘recycled or renewable-based plastic by 2030’. However, there is no information regarding their progress towards this goal on their website. Their website also says that some of their products use PLA which is plastic made from renewable sources such as sugar cane instead of fossil fuels. Also, 85% of the plastic in ISTAD bags (reusable food bags) is made from renewable material from the sugar cane industry which shows that IKEA is implementing its goals in some of its products. However, more needs to be done if IKEA plans to only use renewable plastic by 2030.
The extraction of natural gas from the earth is needed in order to produce the main material–Polyethylene plastic–in the FEJKA. Moreover, greenhouse gases are released whilst hydraulic fracturing occurs, releasing methane into groundwater and impacting the earth and potentially humans’ health. Furthermore, since most products are made in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Malaysia the amount of CO2 released in order for the product to be transported is quite large.
IKEA is working towards a circular business model and aims for all of its products to have circular capabilities but there is no information regarding this. The company does offer a buy-back service where customers can exchange unwanted furniture for a voucher. Also, IKEA is working with the MacArthur Foundation and the Circular Economy 8. They promote regenerating natural systems and designing out waste and pollution. This shows the efforts IKEA is making to work towards a circular systems approach in order to reduce waste.
It is not stated on the website where the FEJKA is manufactured, further supporting the fact that IKEA is not clear about where their products are made. Most IKEA products are manufactured in developing countries such as China and Vietnam. A study has exposed the working conditions in IKEA manufacturing factories in Vietnam and Bangladesh; it shows that the factories violate IKEA’s code of conduct on a large scale and violations regarding maximum work hours are found in all factories. Furthermore, the workers are not aware of their rights as expressed in IKEA’s code of conduct, and workers are paid the minimum wage whilst working long hours. IKEA has made it clear that it does not permit child labour or forced labour within its supply chain. This proves that IKEA is possibly lying as studies have exposed forced labour within its factories. In addition to this, IKEA has also been accused of child labour in the Philippines and Vietnam.