As environmental awareness grows, individuals and businesses alike are recognising the need to reduce their plastic consumption. This topic has always been one of importance here at Peak - in fact, we can't wait to share some pics of our new solar panelling (further down). For us, Plastic Free July® is a great reminder to do a stocktake on the business and find ways to tweak our environment, promote sustainable alternatives and practices, and educate those around us.
Plastic Free July®, is a global movement that encourages people to refuse single-use plastics and find sustainable alternatives. When you involve your business it showcases your commitment to the environment, and also to your staff. It tells them that you want to foster a greener community.
This month, we explore a few simple ways you can involve your business in Plastic Free July® and promote sustainable practices.
Ditch the single-use cups: In the office kitchen stock only washable cups and reusable water bottles or glasses. There is no need for single-use plastic cups for water if there is a kitchen filled with washable glasses.
Ever considered a reusable bin liner? If your office has a recycle bin and a dry waste bin then you can easily swap out the plastic bin liner with a reusable one. Reusable bin liners like this can be washed, are waterproof, and are available for purchase in several sizes.
Compost the leftovers: Why not check if your council area offers compost disposal for your office. If it does, encourage staff to put their lunch scraps into the office compost. This not only helps reduce landfill, but it means your office isn't adding to food waste rotting and contributing to methane emissions. As The Washington Post pointed out, "If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming." It is definitely worth finding out if your council offers waste collection, or if your office can have compost waste collected regularly. You can read more about commercial composting over at Biffa, as one example.
Introduce reusable lunch boxes for the month: Why not incentivise staff to bring lunch in reusable lunch boxes? Or if a staff member purchases lunch out while working, have them ask the business to put it in their own container to take away. Why not put up a chart and give staff a point a day for those who bring in their lunchbox, with a small reward - like leaving 2 hours early - at the end of the month for the person who achieves the highest number of days.
Give a reusable gift to encourage a change: Ever considered buying all your staff a reusable item? While some businesses offer event days and take the staff out for dinner, wine or a treat, why not make July the month where each staff member is given a reusable cup, a produce bag, or even a reusable bamboo cutlery set that can be kept in their bag or rucksack. It is the gift that keeps on giving and is also great for encouraging staff to do the right thing. "England uses 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — per year, but only 10% are recycled upon disposal" according to the gov.uk site.
50% OF ALL PLASTIC PRODUCED (380 MILLION TONNES PER YEAR) IS FOR SINGLE-USE PURPOSES - USED FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES AND THEN THROWN AWAY.
- Plastic Oceans
There you have it. Five simple ways to get involved in Plastic Free July® and support the change that we want to be (in our office spaces). And for more ideas, do take a look at their Action Picker, which is filled with useful tips and tricks, and a tracker for your impact.
And finally, back to our solar panels. It wouldn't be a complete blog without sharing what we have just installed to help reduce our carbon footprint long-term. Aren't they just brilliant? (We think so if we do say so ourselves).