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IKEA Eliminates Incandescent Bulbs

IKEA announced it will eliminate all incandescent light bulbs in its U.S. stores starting August 1, 2010, according to a company press release. The initiative is slated to be completed by January 1, 2011, which would make IKEA the first US retailer to have entirely eliminated incandescent bulbs.

All retailers are due to eliminate incandescent bulbs in 2012, when federal legislation will take effect. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that all light bulbs use 30 percent less energy, which will have the effect of eliminating incandescent bulbs.

The plans also mean that IKEA will likely need to retool its lineup of lamps, since lamps designed to fit with the old incandescent bulbs will now be obsolete, according to a report in the LA Times. An IKEA PR spokesperson confirmed to the paper that the company would be reviewing its offering of light fixtures, but did not say how many of the current fixtures it sells are designed for incandescent bulb use.

IKEA plans to replace the bulbs with compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), which can last 6 – 8 times longer and use 80 percent less energy. However, CFLs do contain mercury and must be disposed of properly to avoid contamination. The company provides an environmentally safe recycling program for its customers, and recycled 126,722 CFLs in 2006. Customers can take any used, carefully wrapped CFL bulbs to a local IKEA.

Environmental Leader reported that IKEA has reduced its total CO2 emissions by 5 percent and CO2 emissions from goods transport by 10 percent in fiscal year 2009 compared to the previous year, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report. The company also recently announced plans to begin installing solar panels on stores in order to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, IKEA eliminated the use of paper and plastic bags.

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