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Attainable Solutions To Go Plastic-Free in Your Business

By: Linus Britt

 

plastic free solutions for business

Sustainability in business is quickly becoming one of the biggest necessities to build an economy that is regenerative and restorative by design. It creates the potential for massive economic and ecological opportunities for businesses across all industries. And there are many attainable solutions to go plastic-free.

You could make conscious decisions to use plastic-free packaging material and packaging tapes, simplifying supply chains, and eliminating single-use plastic usage, you can create practical and maintainable changes within your business.

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Conduct a Waste Audit

The first step to reducing and eliminating plastic usage in your business is conducting a waste audit, which will highlight the areas that require the most attention and showcase the solutions that yield positive results. It will help you improve your recycling rate and cut operational costs by helping you understand the type and amount of waste you produce.

Once your usage has been established, you will have a better idea of the overall picture, allowing you to plan a game plan that will effectively cover your entire business operations. There are many trusted and efficient companies available that will perform this audit for you.

Eliminate Single-Use Plastic

Single-use plastic items are one of the biggest sources of pollution on planet Earth. They linger in the environment for an indefinite amount of time, as they are not made to be biodegradable. When plastic eventually starts to break down, it forms microplastics, which further pollute the planet. Microplastic has been found in nearly all bodies of water, natural vegetation, and water and food sources consumed by animals and people alike.

By eliminating single-use plastic in the office environment and in your products and services, you are making great strides in reducing your overall plastic usage with relative ease. Introduce refillable water stations around the office and encourage employees to make use of reusable coffee cups and kitchen utensils while at work.

For businesses that sell products, switch to recycled plastic packaging or eco-friendly packaging solutions and encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags and containers for companies with brick-and-mortar stores.

Efficient Recycling

Regardless of the size of your company, many workplaces have inefficient methods for proper recycling. This is often because many businesses are unclear on which local authority will or will not recycle. If you feel unsatisfied with your current options, you could write to your local councilor about promoting and implementing more effective recycling strategies.

Additionally, local recycling companies could charge considerable amounts to collect recyclable items. To save on costs without compromising on your dedication to being more environmentally conscious, you can seek to arrange a rota for volunteers to transport plastic for recycling every week or fortnight.

Turn Consumers into Creators

DIY and home-making solutions allow your consumer to make everyday food and non-food products at home, eliminating the need for packaged goods. Companies like Soda Stream enable customers to make sodas at home, eliminating the need to buy single-use plastic bottles and promoting healthier alternatives to sugary soft drinks.

IKEA, the global home furnishings retailer, has pursued indoor gardening by offering customers the chance to purchase hydroponic gardening and cultivation kits, allowing them to grow their own lettuce and herbs at home. The most significant shift in DIY solutions has been in the beauty and cosmetic industry, with consumers growing more concerned about the harmful ingredients present in their products, alongside inhumane testing practices and animal cruelty. By allowing your customers to create their own DIY products with natural and cruelty-free ingredients, you eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and turn the process into an event with friends.

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Gain the Competitive Edge

If your company lacks the drive for change or struggles to highlight the numerous advantages of moving towards a plastic-free business model, highlight the competitive edge that sustainability will grant you. These days, it is more than just a buzzword. Consumers are increasingly making educated and impactful decisions when choosing companies for products and services, prioritizing those who actively show a dedication to environmentally responsible business practices.

By pursuing plastic-free and eco-friendly solutions, you are able to market your brand with a highlight on sustainability, showcasing your dedication and values to the environment. You can pursue various certifications that not only provide invaluable education and resources to your company and staff but also improve your credibility and consumer trust.

Finally, you can partner with suppliers and vendors who share your commitment to green business ventures, creating a more responsible, resilient, and sustainable supply chain.

Plastic-Free Packaging

Experts predict that in the next 25 years, there will be more pieces of plastic than fish in the oceans around the world. Studies show that only 9% of plastic is properly recycled. Plastic packaging is one of the most significant contributors to this excessive and harmful waste.

But the reality is there are plenty of resources that can be used instead that will reduce your carbon footprint and waste and allow you to make effective changes when transitioning to a plastic-free business.

By using natural recycled materials and paper options, you drastically reduce the waste of your packaging, as it can be reused multiple times before it begins to break down and cannot be used again. The natural ingredients will organically decompose and reabsorb back into the ground in a safe and eco-friendly way.

Furthermore, you can encourage your customers to send back used packaging, offering discounts for recyclable materials or providing reusable containers made from glass or metal that can be refilled multiple times and are easily recycled.

Spread the Word

An effective way of multiplying your impact, alongside the changes you make within your own business, is spreading the word and reaching out to your business partners, clients, and networks to reduce their plastic usage collectively.

Properly understanding the impact of plastic and other harmful waste on the environment will allow individuals to re-evaluate their relationship with single-use plastic and efficient recycling, forming new habits and creating motivation for reaching reduced waste targets.

Published: October 18, 2023
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