How to reduce plastic at your workplace
Single-use refers to products – often plastic – that are made to be used once only before disposal, and has been selected as Collins’ Word of the Year 2018. The word has increased four times in use since 2013, with news stories and images raising public awareness of the issue. From plastic bottles, straws to bags, we have become more conscious of how our habits and behaviors can impact the environment.
The EU Parliament have also taken action, and will be introducing a ban on single-use plastic items. This will include plates, straws and cutlery. One of the reasons behind this is to contribute to save our oceans from plastic pollution as the scale of the ocean plastic crises has reached horrifying heights. Predictions is stating that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
Pia Nordskaug, CEO of eco.logic, recommends that not only individuals should take this into consideration, but also that businesses should set good standards for a plastic-free environment and inspire the employees to use less single-use products. Plastic pollution is a global epidemic that we all need to address, and our efforts as individuals are important. We, as consumers, have the power to choose whether to support the plastic production industry, or to reject it and go plastic free.
It is time to take action – here are some simple ideas for reducing plastic use at your workplace:
The day-to-day running
A good start is to make sure that office supplies don’t come in unnecessary plastic packaging, and to look for alternatives to plastic for products in general. Do not replace plastic products with an alternative that is no better for the environment. While you may be responsible for the day-to-day running of your business, you can also encourage change in your employees.
Get your employees ombord
Encourage team members to bring in leftovers from home or take bowls from the kitchen to the corner deli for lunch instead of buying food wrapped in disposable plastic. It is even better to provide the employees with cooking facilities so they can make something tasty instead of going out buying lunch.
Ban single-use plastic
To be ahead of the curve you should impose your own ban on single-use plastic bottles and straws at your office to encourage employees to bring in refillable and reusable items. Again, make sure to provide the employees with easily accessible reusables in kitchen and canteens.
As well as attempting to eliminate plastic you should also ensure that your employees are following the best practice when it comes to recycling. It is difficult to avoid and replace all plastic products at an office, but make sure to recycle where you can.
At eco.logic we completely avoid using plastic hangers. Plastic hangers are lower quality with a lower lifespan and will just contribute to plastic pollution.
Encourage eco habits
Most of the time we buy products that we don’t actually need based on habit, when we could swap them for other more easily recyclable or sustainable solutions. One way to encourage more eco.friendly habits is to consider gifting employees with coffee cups and reusable water bottles. You can also run competitions at the office to see who can reduce their plastic waste by the most, and incentivize your employees to become eco.friendlier.
Picture from collinsdictiornary.com
- Featured image: What lies under – Ferdi Rizkiyanto 2011