IKEA said Monday October 28 that it would phase out disposable plastic materials and products in Israel stores. The company will also ban plastic straws in locations, and switch to paper.

The change will start at the beginning of 2020 in Israel. It will mean that stores will not sell single-use plastics in products or in their cafeterias. IKEA Israel will also sell recycled plastic items like curtains, carpets and kitchens.

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Hege Sæbjørnsen, IKEA Israel spokesperson, said of the change, “Plastic straws have become such an important emblem for change when it comes to single-use plastic, but this campaign is not just about straws. We want to harness people’s energy behind ditching single-use plastic straws and disposables, to draw attention to the thousands of everyday changes we can all make to have a big impact on the planet.”

IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer and has made numerous sustainability commitments on its website, including a commitment that straws, plates, cups and cutlery will be disposables from renewable sources by 2020.

Israel is the second largest consumer of single-use plastic per capita. 90% of the country’s beach trash is plastic. Along the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv has the third most plastic on its coastline.

Single-use plastic is a problem around the world, as more plastic pollution ends up in oceans, landfills, and waterways. Plastic kills fish and wildlife and enters the food chain as microplastics.

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