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Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Use in the Workplace

This month signals the launch of Plastic Free July, an initiative designed to encourage businesses across the globe to work together to reduce plastic waste.  Even small changes can make a big difference.

It’s a well-known fact that single-use plastics can be harmful to our planet. Recent figures from Earth Day suggest that eight million pieces of plastic enter our oceans, affect wildlife and contribute to rising pollution levels every single day.

In support of Plastic Free July, we’ve been chatting to some of our occupiers here at Wellington Place about the positive measures they’re taking to reduce plastic in the workplace. Read on for easy hacks on how to make more sustainable choices for your office.

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle

While all Wellington Place rubbish gets sorted for recycling, with 0% of waste being sent directly to landfill, it’s still important to take steps to reduce and reuse plastic in offices. We spoke to companies based at Wellington Place to see what they do to avoid plastic waste.

Co-working space Cubo are committed to reducing single use plastic by equipping all of their workplaces with reusable mugs, water machines and metal tumblers to avoid mountains of plastic being sent to landfill.

Similarly, occupiers Brewin Dolphin and Burendo give new members of staff their very own reuseable water bottles and coffee cups. This sets them on the right path and encourages them to reconsider their habits and turn to using more sustainable alternatives.

2. Come together

As well as reducing plastic waste within the office, why not take the positive practices outside? Gather your team to offset the use of non-recyclable plastics by arranging a litter-picking walk. You’ll help clear the local community of rubbish and in turn create a happier environment for everyone. It could even become a team building activity! How about the team that collects the most rubbish wins a prize for their efforts?

Plogging

At Wellington Place, we run “plogging” sessions – a Swedish term which means to pick up litter while jogging – which see our running club collecting rubbish along their run in Leeds. Contact us if you’d like us to join our next plogging event.

3. Signed, sealed, delivered

Receiving deliveries is often unavoidable during the general running of a business. However, many delivery services end up using a lot of plastic materials to package your items. The good news is, there are ways around this. Consider using green couriers, many of whom use recyclable materials and also offset any carbon emissions generated.

Some great examples of delivery companies going above and beyond are DPD, which has ensured all of its delivery packaging is now 100% recyclable, and City Sprit, which has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastics from its operations.

Waiting to order items in bulk, rather than placing multiple separate orders, can also help reduce the amount of plastic coming into your workspace.

4. Spread the word

Collaboration is key if we are to move towards a world that is truly free of single-use plastics. Don’t limit being plastic-free to your own workplace, consider whether you can ask your suppliers, vendors or customers to introduce practical changes for reducing plastic waste.

Not only this, but they might be able to teach you a thing or two. Ask whether they have any initiatives to combat plastic pollution within their business that you might also be able to implement in yours. Our Greener Wellington Place Working Group is a great way to come together and collaborate on environmental issues with your work neighbours. Join us to share your top ideas with them and help to spread good habits.