Overall, this toy is made of polyester, which is an unsustainable material made of petroleum. Although the company claims to use 100% recycled materials by 2020, little is disclosed on the internet about how much progress they have made. Also, IKEA has closed its only store in the U.S. in 2019, creating more waste on transportation. In general, I just feel like they can be more transparent, which will be better for the customers.
This product is made of 100% polyester with 100% polyester fiber fill. Polyester is a kind of plastic made of PET and is usually derived from petroleum. Although from a customer standpoint, this material lasts a long time and requires less energy for washing, it’s generally not a sustainable material as its production requires extensive heat and lots of water to cool it off. It is also shown in recent studies that polyester sheds small pieces of plastics that can be ingested by marine life.
While most of IKEA’s products are designed in Sweden, much of the manufacturing takes place in China and other developing countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Other manufacturing sites includes countries in Eastern Europe such as Poland and Romania. In 2019, IKEA closed its only U.S. factory due to the high production cost. This creates new problems since it will have a larger impact on the environment due to transportation. In general, most IKEA products are distributed globally, which can have a great environmental impact.
Although not much of work conditions is disclosed on the internet, it seems like IKEA strives to provide a safe and healthy work environments for the workers. Under their code of conduct, the IWAY Standards, they hope to prevent pollution to air, ground and water, as well as at least minimum wages and overtime compensation.
IKEA is a Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furnitures and accessories. From their website, it seems like IKEA is striving towards zero waste in its production and operation. Their goal is to buy all of their major materials from more sustainable sources by 2020, and they achieved this for cotton in 2015. IKEA is also the third-largest companies in the world for wood use, and they claim that all the wood they use IWAY Forestry Standard, which bans the use of wood from High Conservation Value Forest.
However, it seems like there is little progress in recyclable plastic/polyester. IKEA explained that this is due to the lack of knowledge of the chemical composition of the material, so they conducted research with experts from H&M. By the end of 2019, the overall share of sourced polyester for textile products being recycled reached 55%. By the end of 2020, they hope to only use recycled polyester. Nevertheless, little is known about how much progress they have made since it’s already October.
Product Item: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/blahaj-soft-toy-shark-90373590/