A good first step to plastic reduction is taking stock of the actual plastic being consumed in your business. Plastic audits mean figuring out what kind of plastic is being thrown away. This may seem a little gross, but it’s an important step to identifying how much plastic is being thrown in the trash. If you’d rather not perform a plastics audit, don’t worry! MBRC will perform a plastics audit for you.
SINGLE USE PLASTICS
There are a lot of ways you can eliminate single use plastics. Things like changing from disposable to reusable coffee cups and encouraging people to use a water fountain versus bottled water. If your business sells goods, you can switch to recycled plastic packaging and encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags and containers.
An important step to plastic waste reduction is education. Put together a simple program to ensure your staff understand how trash should be disposed of, what is and is not recyclable, and how they can reduce their single use plastics. You can also create educational materials for your customers, encouraging them to reduce their plastic waste both when interacting with your business and in the rest of their lives. If you need help please get in contact with us and the MBRC Academy can help to put you a program in place for your Business.
Incentives are a simple way to get everyone involved with plastic waste reduction. You can try companywide
incentives to get your entire team working together to track how much plastic is being thrown away. The Best approach is to set trackable goals for the company or division, and if the team meets the goals your employees will be rewarded with something (e.g., day off, voucher etc.). Your company can also create incentives for their customers to reduce their plastic waste. MBRC the ocean is happy to support.
One important step to reducing plastic waste is to put it in writing. An official and written initiative is a great way to hold your entire company accountable and ensure that you are doing everything you can to stick to your waste reduction goals.
PLASTIC FREE PACKAGING
Have a think about what your workplace regularly orders in. Stationery, for example, can be heavily packaged and many items (such as rulers and ballpoints) are made mainly of plastic. Can you use alternative products that contain less plastic or use less packaging? If you have any say over procurement in your company, find out from your regular suppliers what they can offer by way of alternatives to plastic packaging.
Your employees need drinking water throughout the day to remain productive. To encourage them to use fewer single-use plastics (such as water bottles), invest in water coolers in your workplace and ask your team to bring reusable bottles from home to fill up as and when needed.
CHECK YOUR KITCHEN
Check your kitchen cupboards. Do you see any single-use plastics there? Bin liners, straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery… it can be surprising to see just how much plastic there is already in your workplace. Recycle them and replace them with ceramic crockery, steel cutlery and compostable bin liners. It’s actually fun to do these things as a team.
Sometimes your team forgets to be sustainable – that normal and needs to be trained. Consider printing off some posters to create visible signage reminding others to do their bit to help the environment and making it easier for them to recycle.
Many workplaces have separate recycling bins for paper waste, but few have similar receptacles for plastic waste. Often this is because it’s unclear what the local authority will or will not recycle (you could consider prompting your local authority to do more to recycle plastics by writing to your councillors). Sometimes, it’s because recycling companies charge considerable amounts to collect recyclables. If your local authority accepts plastic recycling at your local recycling unit, see whether you can arrange a rota for volunteers to take a bag of plastics to be recycled every week or fortnight.
Biodegradable Garbage Bags are a great solution to minimize your plastic waste. The average American creates 4. pounds of waste each day. That’s nearly a ton a year, which fills a lot of plastic garbage bags. If you are going to create some form of non-recyclable waste, at least throw it into a biodegradable bag.