Ikea this week announced that next month it will launch a “buy back” scheme in 27 countries, allowing customers to return items, which will then be resold in shops as second-hand. It’s part of the world’s largest furniture-maker’s plan to become a fully circular and climate-friendly business by 2030. “We’re taking a big stand on fighting overconsumption and the obsession with products we don’t need,” Hege Sæbjørnsen, sustainability manager for Ikea UK & Ireland, told Monocle 24’s The Globalist. “As a global company, we have an enormous opportunity to have an impact but also a responsibility to make a positive difference,” says Sæbjørnsen. Customers will have their furniture graded into three categories – “as new”, “very good” and “well used” – and will receive vouchers in return. “The voucher does not have an end-by date,” says Sæbjørnsen. “So it can be used only whenever someone really needs to come back and buy something new.” The catch? Products must be returned fully assembled.

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