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Are you participating in Plastic Free July?

PLASTIC FREE JULY - HOW TO BE SUSTAINABLE IN OFFICES AND WHILE WORKING FROM HOME

How can you join the fight against single-use plastics and promote a green culture? It all starts with breaking old habits and offering sustainable solutions to the entire team, whether they work from home or from the office. 

It’s time for businesses to turn off the plastic tap. The average person throws away 156 plastic bottles every year, and researchers estimate that a whopping 91% aren’t recycled. If we also add other disposable items, such as plastic cups, cutlery, plates, and food containers, the footprint adds up to thousands of wasted plastic items per year.

Reducing the amount of plastic we produce is the first step to controlling waste, and we believe that businesses have a pivotal role to play. It may not sound like an easy task – after all, plastic is cheap, easy to find, and COVID-19 has reversed a lot of the progress we’ve made in previous years – but by getting involved and making small changes, we can cut back on plastic waste.

Plastic Free July is an excellent opportunity for businesses to assess their plastic waste and find out how they can be greener. Here's some of the things you can do to encourage your team to be more sustainable, whether it’s from the office or from home:

Offer reusable water bottles as alternatives to single-use bottles

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PET bottles are one of the most common types of plastic waste. Every day, the average employee goes through one or two PET bottles at work. To reduce the amount of PET bottles your employees use, invest in a watercooler, which not only saves money in the long run but also dramatically reduces the amount of waste. To further cut down on plastic cups, you can offer employees reusable water bottles – we have special Chillys bottles and keep cups that we've personalised with our logo which we absolutely love! (see photo above) 

Make sustainable catering choices

Ordering takeout for lunch is a common practice, but it’s not the best choice for the environment because most restaurants and catering services use non-recyclable plastic packaging and add plastic cutlery by default. Before the pandemic, we were beginning to see some progress in reducing this type of waste, but all progress was reversed during quarantine when restaurants switched to delivery-only, and people started ordering more food while working from home.

To reduce the amount of disposable food packaging your business generates, you can encourage your staff to bring home-cooked meals to the office whenever possible or switch to a sustainable catering provider. We use City Pantry every Wednesday, which allows our team to select restaurants that offer plastic-free, biodegradable, or compostable packaging.

Conduct a bin audit to identify the plastics you can avoid

Sometimes, even the businesses that are trying to be proactive and make sustainable choices can produce waste they're unaware of. To make sure you’re getting rid of plastics as much as possible, start with a bin audit. This will give you a clear overview of how much plastic you generate. For example, maybe one of your suppliers uses too much plastic packaging, and you can discuss alternative options with them. Don't forget to split your bins in the office to make sure you're all recycling properly! 

Are you taking the challenge to become more sustainable this July?