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Here at the Flora & Fauna office, we do everything that we can to minimise both our plastic usage and wastage. Our overall goal is to drive change so that all global businesses are ethical, cruelty-free and conscious in every aspect of their business.
We understand that positive change begins with meaningful, repeated actions, so that’s why it’s important to be a good example to your co-workers on an individual level, as well working to inspire change on a collective level.
Not every workplace has sustainable protocols in place so that’s where you come in! If your workplace is lacking an eco-friendly culture or simply lacking awareness of plastic pollution, Plastic Free July is the perfect time to instigate meaningful change.
How can I reduce my own plastic wastage in the workplace?
As an individual, refusing to buy takeaway coffee cups, plastic water bottles and single-use plastic containers is an excellent start to cutting down on plastic waste in the workplace. Implementing reusable items into your daily routine will inevitably spark conversation, so it’s a great opportunity to encourage your co-workers to cut down on their own plastic waste.
Bring your reusable coffee cup to avoid buying single-use coffee cups
How can my workplace collectively reduce its plastic wastage?
So, you remembered to bring your reusables to work – great job! However other colleagues may not seem too enthusiastic about reducing waste. How do you create this positive change on a larger scale?
Go paperless and encourage better recycling habits
We live in a wonderful time where we can write, edit and collaborate for free online; it’s never been easier to ditch the paper and go mostly digital. It’s also essential to have proper waste management practices and access to recycling bins. This resource by Planet Ark is a great tool to encourage workplace recycling. It includes things like staff education, location of the bins and the importance of proper recycling signage.
Use a TerraCycle box to recycle office supplies
Here at the F&F office, we use the TerraCycle Office Supplies Box to recycle pens, paperclips, staplers, and non-electronic office supplies. When the box is full, your workplace can send it back to TerraCycle to be responsibly recycled.
Host a Plastic-Free Morning Tea
On 1 July each year (or another day during the month), we encourage people to spread the word about Plastic Free July by having a plastic-free morning tea at your workplace. It’s a fun and inclusive way to introduce your colleagues to the problems of single-use plastic. You can find more information on the Plastic Free July website.
Join your office sustainability group
If you are working in a large office building in the City, it may seem near impossible to implement these changes with so many businesses working under one roof. However, most large buildings now have sustainability groups who will actively support your suggestions and give you info on how you can filter processes back into your workplace. Speak to your building concierge and get yourself involved.
Image Courtesy of TerraCycle
Here are some other ways to reduce plastic wastage in your workplace or office:
Use biodegradable toilet paper. At F&F, we use Pure Planet. It’s septic-safe, biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, recyclable and BPA-free!
Install a filter water tap so employees can refill their water bottles throughout the day.
Invest in real cutlery and dishes to avoid flimsy Styrofoam plates and disposable utensils.
Purchase coffee beans, sugar, snacks, and cleaning supplies in bulk to avoid single-use items wrapped in plastic.
Have sauces, like soy sauce, in a bottle to avoid anyone picking up the mini fish!
We've created these handy guides which you can show digitally, share on email or download and stick up on your office noticeboard. They have lots of takeaway tips on how you can work towards reducing plastic usage in your office.
Why not brainstorm with your co-workers or employees and figure out ways to collectively reduce unnecessary plastic wastage during Plastic Free July; if you have any other ideas on how to encourage eco-friendly habits in your workplace, let us know down in the comments below!