Plastic is a durable material, and currently, there is no effective means of eliminating or discarding it. As a result, most of it ends up in landfills and the environment. It is, therefore, essential to minimise its use and encourage recycling. Cutting the use of plastics mostly starts at a personal level. However, doing the same in organisations has a significant impact on the fight against pollution resulting from plastics. It also creates a ripple effect, and the staff, customers, competitors, and suppliers have to adapt to this positive change. Below are some ways to reduce plastic waste:
Work with Recycling Partners
Depending on your company’s waste management policy, you probably have appropriately labelled waste bins. What happens to them once it is time for their collection? Instead of loading all the waste into a tipper and dumping it on a landfill, collaborate with any plastic-recycling company to collect your waste. The collection process will cut the wastage by a significant margin.
Conduct a Waste Audit
Even with the recycling measures in place, you still need to reduce the amount of plastic waste coming from your company. To know which areas to effect changes, conduct a chemical waste audit. It involves scrutinising the contents of the bins and recording the waste categories therein. Once you identify the types of waste and their volume, focus on the right methods of reduction, such as offering alternatives. If there are too many plastic water cups, offer reusable bottles.
Set Up a Supplies library
Among the regular supplies in the office, some are made of plastic. These include folders, rulers, calculators, and much more. It is likely not all are always in use, yet new supplies are always coming in. For things that workers only use in a while and can share, create a central supplies library. People can pick items on demand and return them after use as opposed to letting them gather dust on their desks. This will cut costs on supplies while also minimising the amount of plastic coming into the office.
Set Up an Environmental Watch Team
The environmental watch group is responsible for advancing the conservation agenda. It comes up with ideas that promote energy efficiency and waste reduction. They will set achievable goals and engage other staff members to motivate them to keep the office environment green. Involving the procurement officers in the team will build their sense of responsibility and boost their enthusiasm for waste management through their acquisition choices. They can work with suppliers for alternative product choices.
Provide Reusable Water Bottles and Coffee Mugs
Single-use utensils make up a considerable part of the plastic waste in a company. To minimise this, offer company-branded reusable bottles and mugs for use in the office. You can incorporate these as a welcome package for new employees. For employees who travel a lot provide travel mugs. These will reduce plastic waste and management costs.
Encourage Home Lunches
When staff members buy lunch from restaurants, the packaging is mostly plastic. If you offer a workplace kitchen with all necessary facilities, it will encourage them to bring food from home. Another way to minimise plastic from food packaging is by setting up a tuck shop. This way, you can influence the kind of packaging they use.
While plastics appear quite convenient, they cause more harm than good in the long run. As a company, you must control its use and bring plastic waste to a minimum. Encouraging recycling and waste reduction will go a long way in achieving this.