Plastic and how it is affecting our oceans is featuring heavily in the news lately. Reducing waste in general is good for the planet so how can you help make a difference in your business?
What Type of Waste?
The first thing is to find out actually what does get thrown away in your office. Not the best of jobs but having a look at what is in everyone’s bin and making a record of their contents will give you an understanding of the types and quantity of plastics and other materials your office is using – and throwing away. A better understanding of what gets thrown away in your office is a great starting point to help begin reducing plastic waste (and all waste for that matter).
Reusable Mugs and Bottles
If you find a lot of single use plastic in your bins this might mean that your staff do not have easy access to drinking water so finding a solution might help reduce numbers. A water cooler attached to the mains water rather than the refillable large plastic water bottles could make a difference – and ultimately be more cost effective. We are so lucky in this country to have drinking water available on tap so why not supply everyone with their own lovely water glasses or reusable bottles that they can refill again and again! Company branded mugs and bottles can be a great giveaway to new clients but also be part of a new starters welcome pack! In the long run this will also save you money and you won’t need to buy any replacement plastic cups or mugs.
Most companies will have a staff room where their people can sit and eat. If you can, try and give them as much in the way of storage and preparation facilities to encourage them to ditch the shop bought sandwich or salad and bring in their own food from home in reusable containers. A microwave, fridge (big enough for the size of your team) and enough cutlery will also help. You might consider some sort of ‘tuck shop’ where staff can buy snacks and mid-morning treats! Tinned drinks rather than bottles are a good idea. This way you can not only reduce the amount of packaging but also encourage healthy food choices – another way to support your staff’s wellbeing.
Work With Your Suppliers
It’s not only your staff that could help cut plastic waste – your suppliers can also play their part. From small things like the type of teabags you buy (some teabags contain plastic) to things like notebooks and pens, they may be able to supply plastic free alternatives or reduce the wrapping they use on the bigger items they supply.
Encourage Staff Involvement
There are a few ways that you can get your staff involved and increase their awareness of plastic waste and how to reduce it. Why not run a competition to generate ideas for reducing the amount of not just plastic waste but all waste that the company generates? Find a “champion” within the business who can encourage everyone to go plastic free and recycle any plastic or other recyclable materials if they do come into the office.
To find out more and get the latest recycling ideas and tips have a look at RecycleNow website.