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IKEA turning crop residue into products

IKEA turning crop residue into products

The “Better Air Now” initiative could help reduce air pollution in India

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A popular furniture manufacturer has launched a plan to help Indian farmers reduce air pollution.

IKEA recently announced its “Better Air Now” initiative, which will turn residue from rice harvests into material for company products. Typically, farmers burn the residue after harvests, which contributes to air pollution.

Burning reside puts farmers at risk to various gases including carbon monoxide, the California Air Resources Board says.

The initiative will start with farmers in the New Delhi region of the country. IKEA hopes to expand the program to include other parts of the country and “create a model for how to reduce air pollution in other mega cities of the world.”

It is also part of IKEA’s vision to use only renewable and recycled materials by 2030.

Not only would using the residue cut back on pollution, it could also be a secondary source of income for farmers.

“If we can find a way to make use of rice straw it would become a valuable source for the farmers instead of being burnt, which in the end would also contribute to better air for people,” Helene Davidsson, sustainability manager, South Asia, IKEA Purchasing, said in a statement Thursday.

IKEA plans to have product prototypes based on rice straw by the end of 2018 with the intention to begin selling the products in India during 2019-2020.

The furniture company opened its first Indian location in August.


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