When it comes to waste, cardboard is one of the most commonly found materials in households and businesses alike. Many items are packaged using cardboard due to its robust nature and when you stop to look around, you realise that cardboard really is everywhere.
With the state of our planet being in extreme disarray, it’s up to every individual to take responsibility so that we can band together to make a significant difference. Cardboard is easier to recycle than it is to make and not only does the production process require the use of polluting chemicals, but it also contributes to the issue of deforestation. With this in mind, it’s imperative for us to be diligent with our cardboard recycling efforts both at home and at work.
Due to the sheer volume of waste that is produced by large businesses, it’s extremely important for managers of big corporations to make a conscious effort when it comes to recycling. However, this cannot be done single-handedly. In order to make a significant and lasting change, it’s essential that the entire company is on board with your values and the new strategies you plan to implement.
Whilst it’s likely that you will already have a recycling strategy in place, does your strategy meet the needs of your business? And further to this, are your employees fully committed to the cause? Although recycling is something many of us practice and are conscious of, there’s no denying that we could be doing more.
As well as recycling cardboard and other waste products, we should also be making an effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce on a daily basis. So, to assist you in creating a more eco-friendly work environment, we’ve listed five ways you can either improve recycling efforts or decrease the amount of waste being accumulated by your commercial enterprise.
As the manager of an office, it’s likely you’ll already have both general waste and recycling bins for staff members to use. However, there’s more that can be done to ensure that waste is disposed of properly and recycled where possible.
First and foremost, it goes without saying that the more bins you install, the more they will be used. If you run a large office building with multiple levels, distribute the bins evenly between the floors and place more bins in kitchens, eating areas, post and stock rooms as this is where the most waste is likely to accumulate.
Further to this, it can be tempting to simply toss waste into the bin that’s closest to you- especially if you’re in a rush. To combat this problem, it’s important to have visual recycling graphics displayed on your bins to outline what items they can (and maybe can’t) take. For example, a cardboard bin could have pictures of the various cardboard items that an office may produce that can be thrown in this container. You could even utilise your bin graphics to communicate inspirational and motivational messages to your employees to encourage their recycling efforts.
If your colleagues have individual waste bins located beneath or next to their desks, it may also be an idea to do away with these so that only the main bins are used. Whilst having a bin close by is convenient, employees may be tempted to dispose of all waste via this vessel. However, communal recycling bins will encourage individuals to take responsibility for the waste they are producing and sort it accordingly.
From sandwich boxes and plastic cutlery to paper napkins and disposable coffee cups, we produce a lot of waste at meal times- especially when grabbing a quick bite at work. So, to make your business more eco-friendly, why not promote litter-free lunches? You could offer lunch boxes to new starters, or perhaps a water flask and reusable coffee cup.
If your office building has an in-house cafeteria, ensure that the staff members are adopting eco-friendly strategies where possible. For example, not offering disposable knives and forks will encourage employees to bring their own or use the standard cutlery that’s available. You could even have one meat-free day a week during which the cafeteria only serves vegetarian meals.
Making the decision to improve your recycling efforts is a shrewd move- but how do you spread the word? When it comes to implementing big changes, communication is key.
First of all, contact all of the suppliers that your company works with to assess whether they share your values. It may be that you find some more eco-friendly alternatives to do business with, in which case, it may be worth switching suppliers.
Most importantly, if you’re striving to establish a company-wide change, it’s imperative to communicate your visions and ideas effectively to your employees. There are multiple ways that this can be done including:
Sometimes, we simply neglect to think about recycling on account of having a particularly busy or stressful day at work. With this in mind, putting up a few informative and eye-catching posters could serve as a reminder to boost recycling efforts.
To keep your colleagues up to date with any schemes you’d like to initiate or any plans you have, it may be an idea to include this information in a company-wide newsletter. This is a great way to ensure that everyone is kept abreast of your efforts and will hopefully encourage staff members to get involved.
There’s nothing like a rousing speech from a professional in the field to inspire motivation, so why not hire an environmental expert to come in and do a talk? This could be just the ticket to galvanising your employees, plus, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the issues our planet is facing.
To ensure your eco-friendly ethos is fully adopted by your staff members, it’s important for them to be engaged with what you’re doing and the best way to achieve this is to get them involved. It’s likely that many of your colleagues will share your commitment to preserving the environment which means that they will probably have a lot of ideas on how your business can work towards this.
Perhaps you could distribute a questionnaire to find out how your employees would like to help, or maybe you could create an ideas board for people to share their thoughts on ways to make the company more environmentally friendly. Not only could this give way to some amazing changes, but it will also ensure your colleagues feel valued and appreciated.
We are all encouraged to recycle wherever possible and we’re constantly told that it’s beneficial, however, many people may lack diligence in their efforts as they don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. Yes, recycling has a positive impact on the planet- but what are the long term benefits? And, what are the implications of not recycling? Further to this, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding what materials can and can’t be recycled which often deters people from making the effort.
Whether explained in a company-wide training session or communicated via email, it’s important to provide your staff with the knowledge they require to recycle effectively. This will empower your employees to take responsibility for the waste they accumulate and hopefully, it will inspire them to go the extra mile both at work and at home.
At Devon Contract Waste, we have helped businesses in Exeter and the surrounding areas to adapt and improve their approach to waste management. As a company with a zero to landfill policy, we strive to dispose of all waste types in the most eco-friendly way possible and our services are all compliant with current legislation.
From glass bottle recycling to green waste disposal, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to waste management and we strive to tailor our services to each customer’s needs.
If you’re a business looking to update your waste disposal methods, contact us today and ramp up your company’s recycling efforts with Devon Contract Waste.