The Plastic Waste Epidemic

Plastic waste is an epidemic sweeping the entire globe. Whether it’s on land, in our oceans, or in our homes, these non-degradable materials are toxic to all they come into contact with. In fact, the number of contaminants and toxins in water bottles alone can harm both humans and wildlife in large quantities. Even so, we still commonly use plastics for daily tasks such as transporting goods, preparing and eating meals, and getting our healthy supply of water. All these activities take place in the home and, especially, at an individual’s place of employment. So if you’re looking to decrease the amount of plastic you use, start by reading this guide to reducing plastic waste at your workplace.

Keep Reusable Utensils Available

Plastic plates, cups, and cutlery are at the center of many workplace meals, events, and parties. These items are used only once, but are extremely resistant to the elements. Plastics often stay in landfills for generations. As such, one of the best ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste your workplace produces is by replacing these items with reusable dishware. You could encourage your workers to bring their own kitchenware from home, or even supply the office with these items yourself. Either way, your office will produce less trash, save money, and best of all, eliminate the use of plastic utensils.

Provide Access to Unlimited Filtered Water

Plastic water bottles are another common source of plastic waste in the office. Whether they’re vending machine purchases or bottles brought from home, plastic bottles are used more than any other plastic item. And sadly, despite making up the majority of waste, bottles are rarely disposed of properly. Very few used water bottles are actually recycled, making them the heart of the plastic waste epidemic.

Fortunately, simply adopting a new office water supply can help solve the problem. Employers can invest in bottleless water dispensers, which make a great addition to any large office. These dispensers tap into an unlimited water supply and can help cut down on the number of plastic bottles bought and used daily. Just be sure to go over all the necessary considerations when buying a water dispenser to ensure you’re getting the right one for your needs.

Request That Suppliers Use Less Plastic Packaging

Another effective way to reduce plastic waste at your workplace is to limit the amount of plastic delivered to the office. Simply reducing the amount of plastic received in deliveries can reduce the cost of disposal. While it may feel like it isn’t in your power to do so, as a client, you can request less plastic packaging in the delivery of your goods.  The best way to accomplish this is to write a formal letter explaining your company’s desire to cut back on your business’s plastic use. This maintains a positive relationship between you and your supplier while helping them understand your objectives. In suggesting this change in the system, you may also inspire your suppliers to adopt a more eco-friendly mindset, as well.

Give Employees Reusable Items

In addition to providing employees with reusable kitchenware, you can further reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by giving them reusable bags and water bottles. Not only is this a great way to be eco-friendly, but it also gives you a great opportunity to increase company morale with branded gifts. In doing this, you can show your employees that you’re serious about reducing your environmental impact and that you want them to be involved.

You can also reward employees with reusable gifts for hard or accomplishing work, or to celebrate their birthdays. Not only will this help your company reduce its environmental impact, but it can also make employees feel more valued by their employer – something that’s crucial to a company’s success. 

Bring Lunch From Home Rather Than Buy It

When we go out to eat, we create significantly more plastic waste than if we simply brought in our own lunches. Takeout waste can add up very quickly, especially in an office. That’s why employers should encourage their employees to bring in homemade lunches rather than continuously order takeout. While you can’t hold them to this way of life, one way to encourage them is through leading by example. Instead of frequently ordering in for meetings, ask participants to bring their own lunches or even do a potluck. This is a significantly healthier, more cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly alternative to ordering lunch.

Display Recycling Containers in Various Locations

Though many people know they should recycle their used plastic, they often fail to do so if a recycling bin is not extremely close by. After all, in the rush to get to a meeting, the last thing anyone wants to do is hunt down a recycling bin. However, this lands millions of plastic items into landfills where they’ll sit for years, rather than in recycling plants where they can be repurposed. So in order to increase the recycling rate in your office, it’s crucial that you place recycling bins in various, easy-to-spot locations.

At H2O Coolers, we provide premium bottleless water dispensers to the New York City area, as well as top-notch maintenance and installation service to ensure that our dispensers last. In this way, we hope to not only supply you with the quality drinking water you need, but to do our part in ending the plastic waste epidemic one unused bottle at a time. With our water coolers installed in your office complex, you can keep both your employees and your environment happy and healthy.

Guide to Reducing Plastic Waste at Your Workplace