Circular economy

Ikea buys back furniture to cut landfill waste

Ikea will re-sell furniture

Britain’s biggest furniture retailer, Ikea, is to buy back and resell unwanted furniture in a move to reduce the volume of products heading to landfill.

The Swedish group is promoting a circular model of consumption to reuse a range of furniture previously bought from the company.

Used products returned in as-new condition with no scratches will be bought for 50% of the original price, while items with minor scratches will be bought for 40%. Furniture that is well used with several scratches will be bought for 30%.

Shoppers will receive a refund card to spend in store. The used furniture will be sold in special areas in Ikea stores and via Gumtree, the online marketplace.

The scheme, which was postponed in November because of the coronavirus lockdowns, has been tested in Australia and Portugal as well as stores in Scotland where 10,000 items were brought back in just under a month in the autumn.

Ikea is joining a trend for buying secondhand goods. Asda has announced that it will stock secondhand clothes in 50 of its stores. Asos, Selfridges and John Lewis are selling vintage items while Music Magpie, the online specialist trading in used phones CDs, books and DVDs, has just floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Hege Sæbjørnsen, sustainability manager of Ikea UK & Ireland, said: “All retailers have to take this movement seriously. We have to remain relevant.

“Companies that don’t really follow this and work with customers and the movement will find themselves not providing the services or needs that customers are asking for. It is also the right thing to do,” she said.

Supermarkets lobby Brazil over deforestation

Nearly 40 UK food businesses have threatened to stop sourcing products from Brazil over proposed land reforms that threaten the Amazon rainforest.

They want Brazil’s parliament to reject a bill which could legalise the private occupation of public land.

The bill is being considered just months after Brazil pledged to end illegal logging.

This year alone around 430,000 acres of the Amazon have been logged or burned, according to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project.

Aldi, the British Retail Consortium, the Co-op, Greggs and Sainsbury’s are among the signatories to an open letter.

Brazil’s Senate is expected to vote on the bill today or Thursday.

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