Whether your workplace is a factory, office or retail building, it is extremely likely that you will be generating a lot of plastic waste. Did you know that British companies have shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong since 2012? As a large retailer of plastic packaging products, we are more than aware of the big environmental issue that plastic waste causes and want to use our voice to encourage manufacturers and individuals to dispose of plastic waste responsibly. In this short guide, we’ll explore the best ways to reduce plastic waste in the workplace. Office managers and CEO’s – listen up!
Find Out Where The Most Waste Is Originating
In order to address the problem, you’ll need to identify the source! If you work in an office, chances are that your main source of plastic waste will be from food and drink packaging that employees have brought in for lunch. If 20 people are getting a meal deal every day, the amount of sandwich containers and plastic bottles can soon add up! However, sometimes the plastic waste that your company generates goes unseen. If you are a mass retailer that uses plastic packaging, then you won’t be the ones left to dispose of it. Even though it technically isn’t your problem any longer, you have still contributed towards the plastic waste. Plastic waste can also be a by-product of production processes in factories. Once you’ve identified the specific area in which you are generating the most waste, you can start to brainstorm solutions.
Organise Your Recycling Bins
One of the first things that you can do within your company is too make sure that you have an easy way for your employees to recycle their plastic. Instead of having a number of general waste bins dotted around your office, why not have a designated recycling station? This only has to consist of a maximum of 5 different bins: cardboard/paper waste, glass waste, plastic waste, food waste and general waste. By encouraging staff to make the effort by making it easy for them to comply, you will be making a big difference without making a big deal out of it!
Evaluate Your Packaging Materials
If you’re a producer of consumer goods, then it’s a great idea to see if there are any changes that you can make to the materials you use to create or package your items. Plastic drink bottles are a big contributor to plastic waste worldwide, yet it is difficult to see how this product can be made more eco-friendly without losing the clear benefits that plastic offers. But there are sustainable alternatives! Here at Ampulla, we have a small range of PLA Plastic Drink Bottles that are biodegradable! PLA Plastic is made using 100% plant material that can be broken down using industrial composters in around 6 months, thanks to the heat exposure that a huge amount of composting material gives you. However, the biodegradability of these bottles does not impact on their quality! They have the same look and feel as normal plastic bottles, with the only difference being that you cannot leave them in direct sunlight, as the plastic may begin to soften and lose it’s shape. If PLA isn’t for you, then you also have the option to switch to aluminium cans, which are more easily recycled or even glass bottles.
Other Handy Tips To Reduce Plastic Waste At Work
- Request that your suppliers use less plastic;
- Swap disposable plastic water cups for paper ones;
- Encourage your staff to bring in their own reusable water bottles;
- Remove any plastic cutlery from communal kitchens and replace with stainless steel;
- Replace plastic bags with paper or compostable bags for customers.
These are just a few of the small ideas that can help you improve the carbon footprint of your business and show your customers that you’re making positive steps to become more sustainable.