We find our planet in a precarious situation due to the use of plastics and the pollution that comes with disposing of them. From the hazards that plague our marine life to the contamination of earth’s water bodies, it is about time we step up on addressing this issue. Speaking of steps taken to reduce the use of plastics, let us share some great tips about how you can celebrate Plastic Free July within your company. Whilst July is nearing to a closure, it’s important we take the concept into our everyday.
You might have heard about this challenge before and it’s definitely one that everyone should be a part of both on a personal and professional level.Plastic Free July is primarily all about avoiding disposables throughout July. It’s a movement that started as far back as 2011 and Plastic Free July seeks to spread awareness about plastic pollution and ways of reducing it.
One of the best parts of Plastic Free July is that it can be carried out at home as well as at the workplace. In this article, you will discover tips and tricks on how to celebrate Plastic Free July within your company based on the advice and guidance provided by plasticfreejuly.org.
How to Celebrate Plastic Free July At Your Company
So, let’s dive in!
Educating and Engaging Employees and Co-workers
The goal here is to get your co-workers or your employees involved with the challenge. The first step is merely telling them about Plastic Free July. After you finish telling them, go on and invite them to join you. Remember that it does not have to be formal or official; just something people can come together to do while having fun.
To introduce this to your employees or co-workers, a plastic-free bake-off or morning tea is an excellent way to start. This step raises awareness and creates the avenue to start the conversation. Food remains a great way to bring people together, coupled with the prospect of solving a problem as plastic pollution works well.
One vital point to keep in mind is to make sure the conversation stays on the positive side. The reason is that people respond better to solutions rather than dwelling on the problem.
Once people begin to join, you can start taking steps that encourage the usage of reusable items like coffee cups and reusable containers for transporting lunch. This step will help more people decide to be a part of the challenge.
The effects include the reduction in the use of plastic at work. What’s more, each employee that joins in will most likely take the challenge back home to their families and loved ones, reflecting the positive ripple effect Plastic Free July can have. Their families may also take it to their schools or workplaces and friends and this again helps the awareness spread faster and further.
This step revolves around taking a look at the company’s procurement practices and reducing the use of single-use plastics. Firstly, find the procurement procedure for your workplace. It is usually a document that states how much gets expended before some methods can be carried out and even which providers to use.
When you finish understanding the procurement procedures set in place, seek out the major procurement personnel and gather them together in a meeting. Make sure that you involve someone who is authorized to decide for the company.
At the meeting, discuss how the procurement procedures can undergo amendment. The various ways include the importance of the single-use plastic items and if they are replaceable. For example, if items can be purchased without the use of single-use plastic packaging, if you can bulk buy to reduce the single-use of plastic packaging as well as the possibility of making the same items from recycled contents.
A great and helpful idea is to look out for single-use items that are purchased regularly and work on the reduction in packaging.
A bin audit is about checking all the ‘waste’ and deciding what could be recycled, composted, or even avoided. Whether at home or at your workplace, conducting a bin audit is an ideal way to discover the waste you are creating and begin to find out if there are alternatives.
To prepare for this, you will want to have colleagues who are interested in conducting a bin audit. The reason is that it’s faster, more effective, and simply practical to carry it out with other people.
The next step is to pick a day for the audit which is close to bin pick-up. This decision prevents you from having to rummage through stale waste. Although, do not pick a day that’s too close to when the bin is emptied so you can complete the process stress-free.
Find yourself a pair of gloves, get some tarpaulin from a colleague or friend, pick a location that is well ventilated and easy to clean up. From there, draw yourself a table to categorise the various things that you will need to examine. When the day comes, and you begin, start by gathering the waste bins and separate them by categories.
Pick one type and empty all of its content on the tarpaulin, then separate the rubbish into piles and estimate the level or percentage of garbage in each collection. Record this estimation in your table. Move to the other bins if there are any left.
The final thing to do after completing the audit is to find ways to reduce the items found on the audit list. Try starting with items that are easier to deal with and then work your way up the list.
Under this section, you will be looking to stop or at least reduce the use of single-use plastic in the workplace kitchen. Start by making a list of all the single-use plastic items in the workplace’s kitchen. After doing this, pick an item to start with and find an easy alternative. If you can’t seem to find one, ask a friend, family member, or colleague. There’s also a wealth of amazing online resources to assist you including this in-depth article.
When you are making these changes, implement them individually to ensure you don’t overwhelm your staff members. This way, the journey to having a plastic-free kitchen at the workplace will be steady and even fun! Also, it’s better to avoid usingsingle-use bamboo, cardboard, or compostable plastic to replace single-use plastics.
After doing all of the above, you can even go on to add a compost bin to the kitchen and make a roster for emptying the bin. Remember to audit the kitchen bin and then let everyone be aware of what goes into what bin. Education is the key to ensuring these changes remain.
As we’ve explored, the above steps are easy and effective ways for you to reduce the use of plastic within your company whilst celebrating Plastic Free July. From engaging your co-workers and employees to auditing workplace bins, making amendments in the workplace kitchen, and amending the workplace procurement procedures, you’ll be a Plastic Free July Pro in no time!
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