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10 Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

plastic waste

Globally, there is a serious plastic pollution problem. This waste is circulating in our waterways, streets, and also in our bodies. Many small and large enterprises are starting to take action mainly at the behest of their customers and investors. It is a great opportunity for these enterprises to step up and lead since they make up the majority of employers in most countries. Here are some ideas they can implement to work towards reducing plastic waste.


1. Encourage recycling and reusing of products

By shifting procurement practice to favor recycled or reusable goods, businesses can make many other types of plastic products more sustainable. Also, specifying recycled content in pipes or ducting, choosing more modular products that can be repaired or upgraded more easily, and specifying remanufactured items will contribute to a more sustainable approach to plastics.


2. Ask suppliers to use plastic-free packaging

Packaging of items stationery used is mainly made of plastic. Regular suppliers can offer other alternatives that contain less plastic or use less packaging. On the market, there are increasing volumes of recycled and bio-based options for plastic production that suppliers can source out for.


3. Encourage using eco-friendly products in the workplace

Staff or co-workers can do more to reduce the usage of plastic by encouraging them to bring reusable water bottles or containers instead of disposables. Also, change the plastic office supplies to eco-friendly ones, for example, using paper or BioPaper for business cards, staff ID cards, access control cards, etc.


4. Eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics

After conducting a plastics audit in the company it’s easy to identify plastic products that are only used once. These plastics include straws, plastic cutlery, and stirrers. Get alternatives for items used in large quantities. Water refill stations should be replaced with bottled water and communal kitchens in offices, restaurants, and coffee shops should stock reusable cups and dishes instead of disposable ones. For companies that sell food or drinks using single-use plastics should use substitutes like packaging made from bio-based plastic, plastic bottles, or packaging from 100% recycled materials.


5. Getting rid of any plastic bags

Issuing a ban on using plastic bags in the company’s premises will encourage the use of eco-friendly alternatives. Encourage the use of reusable bags and cardboard boxes.


6. Provide reusable take-out containers for meals

One of the largest sources of tons of plastic pollution in the oceans is single-use food and beverage packaging. Reusable containers to have lunch with is one option to address this. Depending on the organization’s budget, have some reusable take-out containers in the kitchen for them to grab before they go. This avoids adding more trash to the landfill.


7. Provide fresh water filling stations

To remain productive throughout the day, staff need fresh drinking water. Investing in water coolers in the workplace and asking the staff to bring reusable bottles from home to fill up when need be will encourage them to use fewer single-use plastics.


8. Encourage staff to bring in homemade lunches

A lot of ready-made meals come in plastic packaging. Frozen food from the grocery store and meal kits have grown in popularity over the years and are both packaged in plastic materials. Having access to a microwave and refrigerator will encourage staff to bring in homemade food more often. Also, if it is within the organization’s budget, have fresh fruits available as a perk to encourage healthier eating.


9. Use refillable containers for soap and other toiletries

Soaps and other toiletries are available in bathrooms whether you work in hotels, run a cafe, or office-based business. These come in plastic containers which sometimes are not reused. The option is to replace them with refillable containers that are made up of non-recyclable plastic or are not plastic.


10. Product stewardship

To reduce the environmental and human health impact of plastic products, it’s everyone’s responsibility to voluntarily manage the products and materials over their life. Good product stewardship includes; companies limiting the hazardous materials their product contain, designing their products for easier recycling, using more recycled materials and fewer resources to manufacture their products, and people recycling products and their packaging.

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