Each year, billions of PET-bottles are consumed worldwide. Some of them are recycled as material for new products, while the vast majority become waste.
“What we do at IKEA has a big impact on the environment because we work with large quantities. By using recycled materials, we can produce more sustainably,” says Anna Granath, product developer at IKEA.
Anna Granath is the project leader of the team that has developed KUNGSBACKA. The project started two years ago around a vision to create a more sustainable kitchen front.
Together with an innovative Italian IKEA supplier, the team started to explore the opportunities that recycled material offers.
The investigations resulted in the development of a new material on the market – a plastic foil made from discarded PET-bottles collected by Japanese municipalities.
“We found a way to transform used PET-bottles into a foil that is laminated on the KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts. The biggest challenge was to create a foil from recycled material that fulfils the same quality requirements as a foil made of virgin material. We worked hard not to compromise on neither quality nor price”, says Marco Bergamo, head of development at the Italian IKEA supplier, 3B.
25 half-liter PET-bottles are needed to cover the black surface of a 40x80 cm KUNGSBACKA kitchen front. This is an important step for IKEA on the journey towards a more circular business. KUNGSBACKA does not only give recycled plastic bottles and recycled wood a new life, but a considerably longer life. Like all IKEA kitchen fronts, KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts have 25 years guarantee.
“We need to become better at using the planet’s resources in a smart way. Our ambition is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products. We are looking into new ways to re-use materials, such as paper, fibre, foam and plastic, so that we can give them a new life in a new product,” says Anna Granath.