Are Blue IKEA Plastic Bags Recyclable? – Let’s Investigate!

Everyone knows the classic blue IKEA bag. This design, officially called FRAKTA is arguably one of the most popular and most recognizable transport bags in the world. But it’s still made of plastic, right? Are plastic bags like this safe for the environment? Let’s find out!

In this article you’ll also learn how to safely dispose of these kind of bags when you no longer need them. Read on! Mother nature will thank you!

  1. ‌Are blue IKEA bags eco friendly?
  2. ‌Are IKEA bags recyclable?
  3. ‌How do you dispose of IKEA bags (and similar ones)?
  4. ‌Is IKEA a climate friendly company?

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Are blue IKEA bags eco friendly?

Can the classic blue IKEA bags be recycled? Are they eco-friendly? Here is what we found out!
Can the classic blue IKEA bags be recycled? Are they eco-friendly? Here is what we found out! | Photos: ikea.com

While the iconic IKEA bags are really quite durable (and advertised as way more sustainable than regular plastic carrying bags) this comes at a cost.

Both the handle and the blue IKEA bag itself are made out of polypropylene which time of decomposition is rated for around 20-30 years and its fragmentation during the process might case harm to people and animals when ingested.

There is a bright side to all this though! IKEA advertises their FRAKTA bags as made out of minimum 60% of recycled plastic. Moreover, their official goal is to make all the materials in their products to be fully recycled or fully renewable. This is the official statement of IKEA when it comes to their sustainability and environmental care policies and it can be found on the IKEA website, and on many of the product pages in their online store alike (for example on the clasic blue bag product page – in the “product details” section).

Although at first a large part of this info might not look so good for our treasured and loved IKEA bags, we also need to take another thing into account. IKEA bags are proven to be intended for re-use by customers, and in practice many people actually keep them, be it for future use or for long-term item storage.

This means that IKEA bags are less likely to end up of a garbage dump after they are used once. Let’s now move on to the biodegradability question.

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Are IKEA bags recyclable?

All IKEA FRAKTA storage bags are made out of polypropylene which can be efficiently recycled in appropriate facilities.
All IKEA FRAKTA storage bags are made out of polypropylene which can be efficiently recycled in appropriate facilities. | Photo: ikea.com

So, here comes this much important follow-up question: Are IKEA bags recyclable? The answer to this one is: they are as biodegradable as the recycled polypropylene they are made out of. As we’ve mentioned, polypropylene regardless of its source, in ideal conditions can take up to 30 years to fully degrade, and during the process it falls apart into small particles that may be harmful when ingested by people or animals alike.

If you can get your damaged plastic bag (or a plastic bag you simply wish to discard) to an appropriate garbage bin, or a designated recyclable materials collection point, there is a high chance that it will be later re-used and it won’t be able to pollute the environment by slowly decomposing in a garbage dump or anywhere else.

Remember, almost every product made from pure polypropylene is able to be recycled provided it gets to an appropriate facility.

Head over to the next paragraph for the very best ways to dispose of large plastic shopping bags!

How do you dispose of IKEA bags (and similar ones)?

How should you dispose of your IKEA bags then? The best way here would be to either:

  • Store it away for future use – IKEA bags can hold out for decades when stored properly.
  • Throw it away in a garbage bin designated for plastics – this will increase the likelihood of it being recycled once it eventually gets to the garbage sorting facility.
  • Reach a sorting/recycling facility directly – some recycling points can also have a garbage collection point on the perimeter, some do not – do your research.
  • Repurpose it! – if you’re a crafty person, there are quite a lot of creative DIY projects involving these kind of bags. Here are a few examples: Best IKEA Bag Repurposing Ideas – Pinterest.

The best practices here are quite honestly to store and re-use your IKEA bags whenever needed and not buy a new one when you already have one at hand. This of course applies to all products made out of plastic that can be re-used efficiently.

Is IKEA a climate friendly company?

IKEA is striving to be a company with 100% transparent climate protection policies.
IKEA is striving to be a company with 100% transparent climate protection policies. | Photo: Jueun Song

The dedication of IKEA for environmental protection is shown all throughout their official promotional materials you can find online. As we’ve already mentioned the IKEA take on their classic polypropylene blue plastic bags, we will now move over to the general statement on plastics used in IKEA products production and distribution processes.

IKEA doesn’t turn away from the fact that plastic is still one of the main materials used in their packaging solutions. With all that in mind, they strive to replace all the plastic used in their production lines with plastic made from renewable materials or made completely out of discarded and recycled plastic products. Among the renewable materials used to produce modern plastic solutions we can find organic oil, sugar cane and wheat grain! Source: Our take on plastic (you have to scroll down a bit) – a nice and short read hidden in the classic blue IKEA bag product description.

If you want to know more about the IKEA climate protection policies, norms and their statements on eco-friendly production, carbon footprint, as well as their long-term goals, be sure to give these articles a read (these will redirect you to the IKEA site):

Check out also: Can You Get IKEA Bags Online? – Yes, Here Is Where!

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