IKEA is getting into the second-hand furniture business

STR/AFP/Getty ImagesUsed friends and family are not part of the recycling program.

IKEA is launching a take-back service at its Sydney store in Tempe, offering to resell used furniture made by the Swedish homewares giant.

The announcement comes as IKEA releases its annual People & Planet Positive Report, which found that more half of Australians (56%) threw out furniture over last year, yet one quarter would have kept it if they knew how to repair or reuse it.

The recycling program will give people a voucher for their unwanted IKEA furniture, which will then be onsold for the same price.

The company already has take-back programs for sofas, mattresses, batteries and light bulbs in its Australian stores.

To participate in the furniture take-back, you’ll need to fill in an online form and send photos of the old furniture you want to offload. IKEA staff will then assess whether it’s eligible and offer a value for the voucher. You then have a fortnight to take it to the Tempe store and collect the voucher before IKEA offers to sell it for the same value.

The IKEA People & Planet Positive report concluded that Australians threw away 13.5 million pieces of furniture with the potential to be recycled, or repaired and reused. In the meantime, more than a third (34%) of the population were looking at buying furniture in the next year, and two-thirds of those people (67%), were happy to purchase second-hand pieces.

IKEA Australia’s Sustainability Manager, Kate Ringvall, said the Tempe take-back service was designed to make it easier for people to live the sustainable life.

“Our utmost priority is to generate as little waste as possible, but we can’t do it alone – it takes government, business, industry and the entire community to make a difference,” she said.

More details on the Tempe take-back service are available here.

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