The problem of plastic waste has become a globally threatening problem. Greenpeace report says we are generating about 300 million tons of plastic per year. Over 10 percent of this waste directly reaches the oceans. Studies show that by 2050, our oceans will have more plastic than fish. Unless we humans perceive the gravity of the situation and take sure steps to reduce plastic waste, we will render this world unlivable for any life. Offices are one of the major contributors to plastic waste. Here are the ways to cut down the use of single-use plastic and do our bit to the environment in our work life.
Do a waste audit
Identify the categories under which plastic waste is generated. A waste audit can help evolve some concrete and practically viable plans and alternatives to reduce one-time plastic use. At this point, you will also be able to list out the possible courses of action. This process might bring to your notice some segments that are wasting a lot of plastic like water bottles brought by the employees and the plastic files or pockets used by your office. Look at the purchased items over the past year and identify the area that can be managed with alternatives. Only when you are clear of what wastes you are generating, you will be able to develop a clear plan of action.
Create a Green Team
Create a green team comprising your employees who are enthusiastic about the cause of reducing plastic waste. They can find some interesting ways to remind the other employees of the ways to cut down on plastic waste. Much of the plastic waste can be usually from the items that the staff bring into the workplace like drink and food containers. Besides reminding your employees on reducing onetime use of plastic waste, you can also involve the procurement staff in this process. They can play a vital role in reducing the volume of plastic your office generates. Provide insights into purchase orders and seek out alternatives.
Work with the suppliers
Reducing plastic waste has got much to do with your choices. Besides monitoring the plastic your employees get into the workplace, you must also work with the suppliers to find out if they have any alternatives to plastic in terms of packaging materials. If you can prompt them to make a change, there are several ways in which they can make a difference.
Most offices order for too many stationery items. In fact, there is no need to have hundreds of pens in the supply room. Remember in most cases, the pens are just discarded when the ink dries up. It is better to ask employees to have their own stapler or hole punch. This is one area that can help make a huge difference. Ask the employees to have their own stationery items and in some cases, let them share the resources which can minimize the use of plastic generated from your office.
Provide cutlery, spoons, food trays and water bottles for employees so that they are encouraged to depend on single-use plastic spoons and food packaging materials.