IKEA U.S. will no longer be offering customers free plastic bags. Beginning March 15, every plastic bag at every IKEA U.S. store across the nation will cost five cents.
IKEA is the first major U.S. retailer to charge customers for plastic bags with the goal of completely eliminating their use in all IKEA stores. IKEA projects that the number of plastic bags used by their U.S. customers will be reduced by at least 50% from 70 million to 35 million in the first year. This program was launched in IKEA stores in the UK in late Spring 2006, and reduction has been a monumental 95 percent. Also, blue bag purchases were increased, since IKEA encouraged usage for a multitude of purposes.
All proceeds from this 'program year' bag campaign will go to American Forests, the nation's oldest non-profit citizens conservation organization, to plant trees to restore forests and offset CO2 emissions. Also, to help alter customer behavior and endorse environmentally responsible habits, IKEA will be selling its iconic reusable 'Big Blue Bag' for 59 cents, a cost that has been reduced from 99 cents.