Two Major Companies are Putting Plastic Out of Business in Canada

Published June 8, 2018 at 10:50 pm


Seems like plastic is out of fashion. And, for good reason.

We all know the good ol’ pollutant plastic and how it’s piling up. While we can’t blame anyone else but ourselves, we can always improve.

Companies are now rising up to help the planet by letting go of plastic products.

Home-furnishing brand IKEA and A&W Food services of Canada announced separately on June 8, World Oceans Day, that they’re phasing out plastic products and plastic straws.

Recently, a Mississauga gym, the Athlete Training Centre (ATC), took a stand toward saying no to plastic

Now IKEA has set January 1, 2020, as its goal to phase out single-use plastic products from their home furnishing range; while the A&W chain of restaurants will eliminate plastic straws by the end of this year.

IKEA’s list of products includes straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags and plastic-coated paper plates and cups. The group will also let go of plastic cutlery, straws, cups, plates and beverage stirrers offered in customer and employee restaurants, bistros and cafes.

This move by IKEA will take effect by the end of 2019 across 29 retail stores, including all its locations in Canada.

“Removing single-use plastics from our stores and customer and co-worker restaurants is an important step to help our customers and our company contribute to a world without waste,” said Brenden Seale, Head of Sustainability for IKEA Canada.

How are the companies replacing plastic?

A&W is taking the path of offering a paper straw.

The straws are 100 per cent biodegradable and are sustainably sourced. And you won’t have to worry about them breaking down in your drink for two or three hours. The paper straws are also naturally biodegradable in three to six months in the environment. And, the happy news is that the switch to paper will keep 82 million plastic straws out of landfills every year.

“Introducing packaging innovations that reduce waste is key to A&W’s environmental strategy,” explains Tyler Pronyk, A&W Canada’s Director of Distribution, Equipment & Packaging. “By using compostable packaging, real mugs, plates and cutlery, we are diverting millions of single-use packaging from landfills every year.”

For IKEA, it’s going to take more strategic planning. The company is scouting for ways to work with renewable and recycled materials and plans to prolong the life of the products and materials.

The Swedish company plans to design all new products from the very beginning to be repurposed, repaired, reused, resold and recycled and generate as little waste as possible by 2030. And, they will offer services that will make it easier for people to bring home, care for and pass on products.  

Let’s hope more companies say no to plastic, too.

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