IKEA recently announced its ongoing commitments to global sustainability as part of their People and Planet Positive strategy. One commitment was to remove all single-use plastics, starting with single-use plastic straws in the UK and Ireland. Our challenge was to create something that would have real-world impact and a clear point of difference.
How we helped do the right thing
Straws have become the poster child for plastic waste and a hot topic in the news. Like the plastic bag, they’ve become a handy symbol for a complex problem rooted in years of casual ignorance and unsustainable consumption.
We took the very last single-use plastic straw from a UK IKEA store and created a commemorative installation in the Design Museum, London. This acted as a powerful full-stop to the era of single-use plastics, a reminder of our collective behaviour, and a call to action to make more small changes for a big impact.
What happened next
We unveiled the #IKEALASTSTRAW exhibit at the Design Museum in London – the same week that IKEA removed single-use plastic straws from its UK and Ireland stores, restaurants and bistros. We also created a film encouraging people to share the small everyday steps they were taking to be eco-friendly, using the hash tags #IKEALastStraw and #LiveLAGOM. We used the film, installation and interviews with Hege Sæbjørnsen, IKEA’s Country Sustainability Manager, to reach business, sustainability, consumer affairs, lifestyle and trade media – the whole nation, in fact.
The IKEA Last Straw reached 160 million people across the likes of the Guardian, BBC News and Yahoo, and thousands of visitors came to see it on display at the Design Museum. The film alone reached 1 million on Facebook and achieved ten times the normal engagement rate for organic IKEA content.
The Last Straw was also exhibited at the UK Government Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of Green Great Britain Week, reaching key political stakeholders.
Million people reached