Zero Waste Week 2020

Zero Waste Week was started originally by Rachelle Strauss and began as a National UK campaign which takes place annually during the first full week of September. The aim of the campaign is to help householders, businesses, schools and community groups increase recycling, reduce landfill waste and participate in the circular.

There are many ways all of us can reduce our plastic usage, however businesses are the ones who struggle the most. This is because they don’t have the fullest of control over everything that happens. For example, the deliveries that come to their offices, or the equipment they need to buy which is ultimately made of plastic. Many of them are very confused on how to reduce their plastic usage and change their recycling habits. Below are some of the easiest and effective ways to reduce your plastic waste today within the workplace.

1. Re-use plastic bottles or, ban them completely within the workplace

As simple as this idea may sound, it can easily make the biggest impact. Since last year, over 7.7 billion single use water bottles have been used and thrown away in the UK. Think about how many bottles you would then find in our landfill sites (which take over 1000 years to biodegrade) or waiting to be melted down- both contributing massively to pollution levels.

2. Install a filtered water tap

An additional way to reduce the use of single use-water bottles would be to install a filtered drinking tap. This would be extremely beneficial to your company as it would eliminate the need to bring a bottle of water to the workplace at all. Once exhausted, you can easily recycle the water filters by sending them to WaterCare Recycling.

3. Pack your own lunch

Bringing your own lunch and snacks to the office in re-usable containers not only reduces packaging waste but can also save you a lot of money by not spending money of lunch every day!If you think about it this way: over a week you brought a salad stored in a plastic container with a plastic utensil accompanying it. That would make 5 containers and 5 forks, then over a month you would have nearly a tower full. Those figures are only coming from one person – imagine if everyone in your office did the exact same thing, you would be able to build a new office out of plastic boxes after the first year.

4. Green your commute

Reducing your driving, even slightly, can carry huge environmental benefits. Driving a mere 10% less (i.e. walking, cycling, carpooling or taking public transport) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 440 to 1,763 pounds per year, depending on the vehicle. Where possible, walk, cycle or carpool to the office!

5. Reduce paper use

Avoid using paper by emailing documents to your colleagues and customers, and only print documents when you absolutely have to! To further reduce paper consumption, always print on both sides of paper where possible! And don’t forget to recycle. Recycling one tonne of paper saves around 7,000 gallons of water, 17 trees and can reduce greenhouse has levels by one metric tonne of carbon equivalent.

6. Swap out all disposable items for reusables ones

If your staff have complied to the plastic rules and are reducing their contribution to plastic in the workplace, it’s time to tackle the office/business space. It may not seem like a big deal but anything with a reusable quality will help you in your plot to reduce your plastic usage. For example, eco-friendly water filters are a great way to have cleaner water without having to constantly buy new or change water supplier.

The benefits of a reducing plastic in the workplace are endless. You are not only helping yourself, but the environment too, and everyone wants to live in a happy and healthier environment. It’s not about achieving a zero-waste production as that is somewhat impossible for a single company, but as big of a decrease as possible within the workplace, will create a massive difference.