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Ikea swearing off plastic bags, straws, single-use plastics by 2020

(CBS News) -- Ikea is swearing off plastic bags, straws and other single-use plastics. 

The Swedish furniture giant said it plans to phase out single-use plastics by 2020, part of a commitment to shift to renewable and recycled materials. The move comes as countries across the globe are introducing levies and bans to combat single-use plastic waste, which can be harmful to marine life. 

Ikea said it will introduce more plant-based food choices in its stores, such as the vegetarian hot dog that will be available in August. The company said the pledge to eliminate single-use plastics is part of a larger environmental pledge to become "people and planet positive by 2030," such as by introducing what it says will be affordable home solar products in 29 Ikea markets by 2025. 

"To make this a reality, we will design all products from the very beginning to be repurposed, repaired, reused, resold and recycled," said Ikea sustainability manager Lena Pripp-Kovac in a statement. 

The European Union has proposed banning plastic products like cotton buds, straws, stirs and balloon sticks when alternatives are easily available in an attempt to reduce litter spoiling beaches and ocean beds.

Still, the battle against straws has moved in fits and starts in the U.S. McDonald's recently resisted efforts to study the issue in the U.S., saying it's working toward having all its packaging from renewable or recycled sources by 2025. In the meantime, environmentalists estimate Americans use 500 million straws each day. 

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