Is there life after plastic?
Would you like a nice free canvas shopping bag?
I don’t think any of us can bury our heads in the sand anymore.
Collectively, we’re throwing away too much plastic and as a result it’s doing lasting damage to the world we live in.
Did you know? 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled.
And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.
If we are at all interested in the world we are leaving for our children then we need to make changes to the products we buy and the way we shop. The manufacturers and retailers also need to play their part and cut the amount of plastic they use.
Seriously, who needs a coconut shrink wrapped?
Here are five things you can do as a business to help reduce plastic waste. You might be surprised how easy some of these are to do.
- Use mugs and drinks bottles
One million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world and less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled. Our tap water in the UK is great so there is no need to buy bottled water.
It’s often convenient to have a bottle of water when you’re on the go and can be nicer to drink out of compared to a disposable cup. Encourage your staff to reduce the number of plastic bottles they buy, by providing them with a drinks bottle. The added bonus of this is a bit of advertising. What’s not to love about a branded water bottle?
- Have your milk delivered in glass bottles
Why not step back in time and see if you can get your milk delivered in glass bottles rather than buying plastic bottles of milk?
The BBC’s environment expert Roger Harrabin, reported that a glass milk bottle only has to be reused 20 times to beat the saving in energy of a plastic bottle.
There are a number of suppliers out there, such as Milk and More. Just check your post code to see who delivers to you. The glass bottles are collected when they’re empty, cleaned and reused.
- Ditch the plastic bags
We’re all quite used to paying for our carrier bags in the shops now. Taking out a bag when we go shopping has become a habit for many of us but nearly 2 million single-use plastic bags are still distributed worldwide every minute.
Many of them end up in our oceans.
For some reason, we’re unlikely to have a bag on us when we pop out of the office to get our lunch. You could always provide your team with canvas shopping bags. They can take them with them when they pop out at lunchtime. Again, it’s just another opportunity for some shameless advertising!
- Throw out the biros
Granted, this one is more of a challenge. Plastic pens, which are most commonly used by businesses, will end up in landfill when we’re finished with them. Think about how many there must be already!
You could try using pencils instead. Much more biodegradable and rumour has it that you can even rub out your writing or calculations if you change your mind or make a mistake!
If you’re not sold on using a pencil though, invest in a refillable pen. They’re usually nicer to write with anyway and don’t have to cost you a fortune.
We don’t want to harp on about it but invest in some branded refillable pens and you’ll be the envy of the board room while promoting your business too.
- Plastic Free Fridays
Going plastic free isn’t easy, so why not team up with your colleagues and try to go plastic free for a day. Plastic Free Fridays is a scheme designed to make people think twice about the amount of plastic they use.
You could encourage people to bring in lunch from home on that day. Not only can this be a healthier and cheaper alternative to the pre-packed options but there is bound to be less plastic waste as a result. Just think about all the salad pots, fruit pots, sandwich cartons, crisp packets and plastic bottles that fly off the shelves during the lunchtime rush every day.
Tupperware and lunch boxes are the way forward people. Just don’t forget to bring in your cutlery and consider an alternative to clingfilm.
Use Plastic Free Friday to say no to plastic straws too. In America alone, 500 million plastic straws are used and binned every day. That’s enough to wrap around the world twice! If you buy a soft drink from a fast food chain, the chances are it will come with a straw. Just say to the server that you don’t want a straw and that’s one less straw ending up in the bin. If you’re out for Friday night drinks, just say no to the straw.
Here’s a recap…………
- Ditch the disposable cups
- Switch to glass bottles for your milk
- Offer canvas shopping bags for the lunch run
- Throw out the biros
- Try Plastic Free Fridays
Practice what we preach
At THP, we’re trying to do our part in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans and in landfill. If you’d like us to send you a really nice quality re-useable canvas THP “SAVING ME BAGS OF TIME” shopping bag just let us know!
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.