We all know that plastics pose a threat to our environment, but what can businesses do to make a real impact?
The damage single-use plastic waste is doing to our environment has become a widely discussed topic in recent months, so it’s no wonder that switching to sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives is now a growing trend, with many large companies leading the charge.
Across the world, some of the biggest profile businesses are saying no to plastics – Starbucks are banning straws worldwide and the BBC are committing to remove single-use plastic from its operations – both by 2020. Most recently, the European Parliament has now approved a ban on single-use plastic by 2021. And it can’t come soon enough.
Over 38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK alone, with little more than half getting recycled. The rest go to landfill, are burned, or leak into our oceans – in turn contaminating our food and water.
It’s a big task to face – the sheer amount we use in just a day makes it easy to think any effort to change won’t be enough. However, there are simple and easy ways businesses, big or small, can make a difference and in turn, improve their office facilities and employee wellbeing.
1. Improve facilities
Often the lack of impurities and pure taste make bottled water a desirable option, with many offices responding to this demand, but with recent studies showing that even bottled water isn’t free from microplastics, a filtered water system is the best way to ensure pure-tasting water – free from bacteria, microplastics, and contaminants. Now more than ever, a filtered drinking water system is an essential addition to any office space.
Committed to helping businesses eliminate plastics, Zip Water UK has a range of drinking water systems designed specifically to suit the office and cut out the need for plastic. The WRAS-approved HydroTap is a top choice, featuring world-leading MicroPurity filtration, it provides filtration that is 25 times better than a water filter jug – sure to please even the pickiest of employees.
Making the switch, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re choosing a cost-effective, energy-efficient and high-quality option – plus refreshing water for your employees that will keep them hydrated and improve productivity.
2. Provide reusables
Switching to a Zip HydroTap is a good start, but it’s only scratching the surface – it’s time to get rid of those single-use plastic cups. Fill your kitchen with reusable mugs and glasses and reduce your company’s consumption of plastics.
While you’re at it, make sure to throw out plastic cutlery, plates, stirrers and straws – remove the need to constantly spend more stocking up. Instead, opt for the real (reusable) deal. By providing reusable plates, bowls and cutlery in addition to mugs and glasses, employees are more likely to eat in, rather than buy expensive on-the-go lunches and coffees.
3. Ban disposables
Why not go one step further and ban disposable bottles from the office? With your new filtered water system and reusable glasses, staff won’t need to waste money on plastic bottles. Make sure employees are ditching harmful plastics by introducing a penalty fee and donate the money to a chosen charity.
There’s no better time to make a difference in your workplace – especially with Zip’s Reuse Refill Refresh scheme. Take the pledge to get rid of plastic bottles in your office and be in with the chance of winning a chilled-only HydroTap, worth £2300!
4. Recycle the rest
As much as we would love to live in a plastic free world – it’s not going to happen overnight. So, in the meantime, the next best thing we can do is make sure unavoidable plastic waste is properly recycled.
Start by creating a straightforward recycling system. Clear signage on bins, explicitly listing what can be thrown away, will mean there’s no room for error.
Recycling needs to be clean and dry – avoid contamination and mismanagement by placing bins near sink points, so employees are less likely to throw away dirty recycling out of convenience.
By following these tips, your business can maximise sustainability and make a difference in the fight against plastics – with the added benefit of boosting productivity with happy, healthy employees.
 The Guardian
 Orb Media via The Guardian