Everyone is trying to do their bit to save the planet. But there are always opportunities to do better and become more eco-friendly. One approach companies have taken to reduce their contribution to single-use plastic pollution is to encourage plastic-free policies in their workplace.
Plastic is not only devastating to wildlife and the ocean’s ecosystem, but the production of single-use plastics is a huge contributor to global pollution. Three hundred million tonnes of plastic are produced every year. Half of that is single-use plastics. Estimates state that the production and transportation of plastic account for 12.5 to 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. Therefore, reducing the supply and demand of plastic is vital to the health of our planet.
Why Is Single-Use Plastic Particularly Bad?
Single-use plastics are made for convenience without considering quality, durability, and potential re-use. Therefore, most single-use plastics live up to their name and end up in landfills after one use.
Plastic can take thousands of years to biodegrade. This, coupled with the low quality of the items, means they can break down into tiny pieces which make their way into our food and water supply. This does not only affect wildlife; for the first time, microplastics have been found in human blood.
What Can Workplaces Do?
Provide Re-Usable Coffee Cups
Disposable coffee cups are lined with polythene plastic to make them waterproof. Due to this, although the large majority of the cup is recyclable, the tiny, impenetrable layer inside the cup means that it cannot be recycled in most places. Less than 1% of the 2.5 billion cups thrown away each year are recycled.
However, do not panic, there are ways to be an eco-warrior and a coffee-lover at the same time. Coffee shops have stepped up to the plate and now accept coffee mugs and flasks presented by their customers. Many of these chains such as Starbucks, also offer a small discount for this.
Use Recycled Stationary
Do you have hundreds of poor-quality plastic pens lying around your office that eventually make their way to the bin? Buying stationery made from recycled materials is a great way to do your bit to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Recycle, Recycle, Upcycle
Recycling bins are a 21st-century must-have in workplaces. In order to encourage eco-friendly practices, you must lead by example. Recycling bins around the office that recycle paper, plastic bottles, cans and food waste encourage better environmentally-friendly habits among your staff.
Recycling more and recycling properly is essential. Only 14% of recyclable plastic is recycled, while 50% of the plastic that makes it to the recycling centre is not processed as it is not properly disposed of.
Encourage Homemade Lunches
Whether you give your employees some company-branded Tupperware or take them on a cooking course, encouraging them to prepare homemade lunches provides many benefits. First of all, homemade food is much healthier; you know what is in it, it’s less processed, and it is generally more healthy. Healthy food contributes to good physical and mental wellness.
On top of this, it saves a lot of money. Shop-bought and takeaway foods are often pricey and come with a lot of packaging that is often not recyclable. Each Person is passionate about saving the planet while saving the pennies, and we think this is a key element to employee happiness and wellbeing.
Let us help you become more eco-friendly today! We offer a rewards and recognition platform that not only enables people to appreciate each other’s hard work but also allows employees to donate to causes that are important to them. We have partnered with Carbon Footprint to enable our clients to spend their Epoints on planting trees. Why not offer your people perks at work and make your contribution to the environment at the same time? You can learn more about our eco mission on our website.
If you want to find out how Each Person can help you look after your people and make a change in the workplace, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to follow us on social media!