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Environment

Ikea Will Phase Out Single-Use Plastics From Its Stores by 2020

Ikea doesn’t just want to make your home look better — it’s also hoping to make the world a better place.

In the past year, the furniture giant has started selling solar panel kits and donating mattresses to refugees, and now it’s doing its part to tackle the world’s massive plastic problem.

The Swedish company announced on Thursday that it will phase out single-use plastic products — including straws, cups, plates, and bags — from its stores and restaurants globally by 2020.

“Our ambition is to become people and planet positive by 2030 while growing the Ikea business,” Inter Ikea Group CEO Torbjörn Lööf said in a press release.

Take Action: #SayNoToPlastic

The company’s pledge to phase out plastic follows the European Union’s recent announcement of its plan to ban 10 types of single-use plastic items.

Ikea has big plans for 2020. The furniture-maker previously promised to swap oil-based plastics in its products for plastics made from recycled materials by August 2020, and plans to be 100% renewable by then, too. It’s already invested $2 billion in renewable energy and installed approximately 750,000 solar panels on its buildings, CNN Money reported.

The company also aims to achieve zero emissions by 2025, according to the BBC.

Plastic pollution is a massive problem that can be devastating to both marine life and life on land. More than 75% of the plastic that has ever been made has been thrown away. And much of that plastic makes its way to the ocean where marine creatures mistakenly consume it or become ensnared in it. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year — that’s approximately one full garbage truck of plastic every minute.

Read more: The ‘Pepsi Lobster’ Isn’t Alone. These 5 Other Animals Were Harmed by Plastic

But it’s not just plastic waste that’s harmful to the planet; it’s also the production of the material. Producing plastic creates a large carbon footprint, and relies on the use of oil and fossil fuels, the extraction of which damages the environment and contributes to climate change.

“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” Lööf said.

Global Citizen campaigns to protect the environment and halt climate change. You can take action here to help preserve our planet by encouraging companies and people to find alternatives to plastic.