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Ikea to Buy Back Unwanted U.K. Furniture in Fresh Green Push

Bedroom furniture in the showroom of an Ikea store in Mexico City, Mexico, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. The first Ikea store opened its doors in Mexico City in the first quarter of 2021, at the Encuentro Oceanía. The store created around 350 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs. Photographer: Jeoffrey Guillemard/Bloomberg

Ikea is offering to pay U.K. consumers for their unwanted items in a bid to lower waste headed to landfills.

The Swedish furniture retailer will allow returns of certain fully-assembled furniture items, such as dressers, sideboards and desks, in exchange for a voucher. Ikea will offer to pay 30% to 50% of the item’s original value depending on its condition.

The average price for items eligible for return is 29 pounds. Any furniture returned to Ikea will be either resold in stores or recycled.

Ikea has been testing furniture resale in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland for more than a year. It had planned to launch a broader service last year, but that was postponed due to lockdowns.

“Our research shows that there’s huge demand to buy quality second-hand products,” Greg Lucas, country sustainability manager for Ikea U.K., said in an emailed statement.

As workers start returning to the office amid rising vaccination rates, there could be demand to return some work-from-home items that may no longer be needed.

Ikea is one of a number of companies trying to find ways to reuse or recycle material to minimize the impact on the environment and to meet the demands of more socially conscious consumers.

Ikea has already pledged to become a “fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.” A circular business is one that reuses or recycles materials and products.

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