Plastic consumption is a worldwide problem that is having a severe impact on the environment and everything that inhabits it. Greenpeace urge that a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute which is destroying our sea life, along with the food and water we are consuming.
When it comes to a global problem of such magnitude, it can be tempting to remain passive and believe that you, as an individual, couldn’t possibly have enough impact to make a real difference.
However, we’re here to show you some of the simple ways in which you, as a small business owner or employee, can dramatically cut down on use of plastic and have an invaluable contribution to much wider efforts.
Fill up on filtered tap water
When it comes to the plastic crisis, single-use water bottles have become public enemy number one – and for good reason too.
According to research commissioned by the Keep Britain Tidy charity and Brita UK, 7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles are consumed in the UK every year. Just one of these bottles can take up to 400 years to decompose and you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that these numbers simply don’t add up.
Providing filtered water and encouraging staff to use reusable bottles or glasses will significantly reduce the plastic consumption of your workforce.
Consider the company you keep
When choosing which suppliers, manufacturers and partners you’re going to align your business with, make sustainability and environmental responsibility a key feature in the decision process.
Only work with sustainable companies who have solid environmental practices and policies in place to ensure the low-plastic book doesn’t just stop with your immediate working environment.
Clamp down on plastic in the kitchen
It can be much trickier to have autonomy in a shared office or co-working space but if you have your own office, you’ll likely have complete control over refreshments and kitchen facilities. See this as the perfect place to kickstart your clamp down on single-use plastic by:
Swapping plastic milk bottles for glass bottles or cardboard cartons (then remember to recycle them of course)
Swap plastic packets for paper sachets, cartons or bags and just decant into a container if necessary
Opt for reusable crockery and cutlery over disposable plastic utensils – even if this does mean putting the dreaded cleaning rota in place!
Go back to the days of good old pencils
How many times have you chewed the end off a biro and chucked it straight in the bin to save it looking scruffy on your desk? How often do you lose a biro, shrug it off and then just go and select another one from the stationary supply only to do the same thing a few hours later?
Spare an extra thought for where the plastic lids and casing off these pens end up and then consider swapping at least some of your plastic stationary for pencils or other sustainable options. Better still, take advantage of technology and digital apps which completely eliminate the need to single-use plastic pens completely.
If you have any of your own tips or advice on how small businesses can reduce use of plastic, feel free to share them with us over on Twitter or Facebook!
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!