Creating a sustainable workplace in Plastic Free July

This month is Plastic Free July, a global movement to encourage everyone to reduce their single use plastic. You know the stuff I mean – the plastic that our food comes wrapped in that we quickly discard in the bin as soon as we crack it open.

There’s no avoiding the quick bite sandwich or the packet of salad in our fast paced world. As my colleague Simon rightly pointed out, it really needs to start with big corporations being accountable and making the massive shift needed to save us all. But that’s not to say we should turn a blind eye to the roll we play as well. As an SME, we can do our part to create a sustainable workplace.

Tips for creating a sustainable workplace

From a small business perspective, it’s vital that we’re accountable for the waste that we’re producing. In 2018 we carried out an audit of our waste and it was invaluable in shaping our journey to reduce our single use plastic.

We identified where we created the most amount of single use plastic and worked to reduce or completely eliminate it. These measures were individually small but have a massive impact, and include:

  • Arming the team with a spork for eating on the go
  • Switching to plastic free teabags
  • Moving to a far better recycling service
  • Keeping reusable shopping bags in the office

These changes have had a massive impact and have helped the team to think different about reducing plastic at home.

If you’re looking for a good cause to get involved with then Surfers Against Sewage is a great place to start. And if you wanted a straight shooting book, ‘No More Plastic’ gives handy tips and tricks that are easy and assessable for everyone to achieve. Tips include arming yourself with a refillable water bottle and using the handy app from Refill which means never needing to buy bottled water again. And the added bonus of adding Magenta as a refill station means we happily welcome people to refill their bottle if passing by and in need.

Hopefully plastic free awareness days will someday become a thing of the past.  Until that day we urge every business and individual to take a look at the single use plastic in your life and make three little changes. These changes can be the start of a very big change. And if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, do pop in and fill your water bottle!

Katina Byford-Winter