New eco kitchen from Form Us With Love and Ikea

New eco kitchen from Form Us With Love and Ikea

The circular economy in action: Kungsbacka is a new material for kitchen units and worktops made from recycled plastic bottles and waste wood

Kungsbacka is ideal for kitchen fronts and worktops
With the aim of showing how a circular economy can work at scale, Form Us With Love in collaboration with Ikea has developed Kungsbacka, the first material for kitchen fronts and worktops made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and reclaimed industrial wood (25 plastic bottles are used for every 40x80cm unit). Kungsbacka will be available soon at Ikea in the UK, check the website.

The sleek anthracite grey Ikea Kungsbacka kitchen is pioneering because it is made out of discarded materials - plastic and wood. ‘A plastic bottle is not waste, it is a resource,' says Jonas Pettersson, CEO at Stockholm-based international design studio Form Us With Love. 'And most importantly, this kitchen proves these materials can be used for household goods in large scale production.'
 
Mass produced kitchens haven't to date been particuarly eco friendly, being made from unrecyclable chipboard with plastic lacquer coatings. There's also been a tendency for people to throw out a kitchen when they move house and put a new one in, often just for the sake of it. That behaviour is starting to change and the better made the kitchen, the more likely people are to keep living with it, even if it was someone else's choice originally.
 
So the development of the Kungsbacka kitchen and Hackas handles is tremendous news on several counts: firstly, it's made from recycled plastic bottles and wood waste, so it's the embodiment of the circular economy; secondly, the material has been designed to last for decades, and thirdly, the modular units have been designed to be timeless - Form Us With Love and Ikea say the line 'is resilient to fashion'.
 

 

The core ingredients of Kungsbacka - pet plastic chips and wood waste
The material in close up. The anthracite grey colour is easy to incorporate into a colour scheme
The handles are ergonomic and unobtrusive
Component parts of the Kungsbacka range
Keeping costs down
 
Working with IKEA and an Italian supplier, Form Us With Love explored the possibilities of developing a new eco-friendly kitchen material without losing track of production costs. Pettersson explains that 'when using recycled and reclaimed materials, more research and development goes into the project' and that's why products made from recycled/reclaimed materials are often more expensive than a product made from brand new materials.
 
So developing Kungsbacka has been a labour of love too - all those involved wanted to ensure the finished material can withstand daily use for a good quarter of a century. Anna Granath, product developer at Ikea Sweden, isn't giving away trade secrets, suffice to say that 'overcomign the price was a milestone in the development... But we believe sustainability should be for everyone, not just those who can afford it.'
 
Post consumer PET plastic has been used for materials such as polar fleece for some time, but a solid, stable material hasn't been available. Now waste plastic bottles will be used for large volume production for Ikea, and that's the way ahead, says Pettersson: 'Each year approximately 100 billion PET-bottles are used by consumers and only a fraction of this waste resource is being used.
 
‘Together, we have to challenge the excuses for not using waste as a resource by showing how to best put these material back into production, making affordable democratic products that will last. It’s about designing real change.'
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