Seven ways to reduce plastic in your workplace

There are lots of different ways that you, as an individual, could reduce your plastic waste but, in order to have an even greater impact, why not involve your workplace and get everyone working towards the same goal?

The experts at Safestore self-storage providers have shared their top seven ways businesses can reduce their use of plastic

Encourage eco-habits in the workplace

Could your staff or co-workers do more to reduce their use of plastic? Encourage them to bring reusable water bottles and wrap sandwiches in recyclable material or reusable containers rather than clingfilm.

Ask suppliers to use plastic-free packaging

Have a think about what your workplace regularly orders – 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? Find out from your regular suppliers what they can offer by way of alternatives to plastic packaging if they can’t, or won’t, provide plastic-free alternatives, consider alternative suppliers and make it clear why you’re doing so.

Provide water-filling stations

Staff need fresh drinking water throughout the day in order to remain productive. To encourage staff to use fewer single-use plastics, such as water bottles, invest in water coolers in your workplace and ask that staff bring reusable bottles from home to fill up as and when needed.

Audit your communal kitchen…

Have a good clear out of your staffroom cupboards. How many single-use plastics are there? Bin liners, straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery etc. – it can be surprising to see just how much plastic there is in your workplace. Many local authorities offer centralised soft plastic recycling points, so consider rounding up all the single-use plastics in your kitchen and arranging for a volunteer to take them to be recycled. Replace them with ceramic crockery, steel cutlery and compostable bin liners (or you could line your bin with newspapers instead).

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…and recycle more efficiently

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 won’t 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.

Use positive signage

It’s easy for staff and customers to forget to pop their rubbish in the correct recycling receptacle or to fail to bring their own bags. Consider downloading and 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.

Upgrade your cuppas

Combine your ceramic mugs with a switch to plastic-free tea bags in your kitchen to make your tea breaks more eco-friendly. For an even greater impact, swap your plastic milk cartons for glass milk bottles or make up milk from tinned, dried milk powder.

For more information, please visit www.safestore.co.uk

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