Making a difference: Tackling office waste with responsible recycling

1 November 2019

Social responsibility isn’t just marketing lingo today, it’s an essential part of the process of streamlining a business for the future. More sustainable business practices are crucial to this, including taking a more proactive and environmentally friendly approach to office waste. If your business is keen to improve its green credentials then it will be essential to have responsible recycling measures in place.


The goal of zero waste

If your business has any kind of green agenda then no doubt the goal of ‘zero waste’ is somewhere in its future. Government targets of requiring net-zero emissions for the UK by 2050 have put increased pressure on businesses to be more informed and accountable when it comes to the way that a carbon footprint is managed. Dealing with the waste that is generated by your organisation is a big part of this. Even if zero waste is not feasible right now – or in the near future – it’s crucial that every business starts looking for ways to reduce office waste.


Responsible recycling as a key tool

If you’re looking to tackle the topic of office waste within your business, establishing a robust recycling scheme is a great place to start. For many offices, paper and card are the two most frequently generated items that can be recycled and also the most visible. So, when you set up recycling for your business it’s often a good idea to begin with these. The first step towards this may simply be ensuring that you have enough recycling bins and that these are clearly labelled in terms of what can go into them. From there you can start to assess how much paper and card waste your business has (and whether this could be reduced), as well as the other types of waste that are being generated.


Evolving your recycling scheme

In any office, paper and card products are just the start of the story when it comes to responsible recycling. The next step is to start tackling other materials, such as plastic waste. Only 9% of plastic is currently recycled and this is often because of confusion over how and where it can be recycled. You might find that your business can work with a professional waste management partner to set up a responsible recycling scheme for the plastic waste your office is generating. It can also be an important part of the initiative to try and reduce the volume of plastic that the entire organisation is throwing out. For example, some businesses have banned single-use plastics as part of responsible recycling, which could entail measures such as removing plastic straws from the cafeteria or refreshment areas. You might also start an initiative in the workplace encouraging employees to avoid using disposable plastic bottles or cutlery and to start investing in items that can be reused instead.

Better waste management is something that any business can achieve today and a strong, responsible recycling scheme is a great way to get started.