Reduce the use of plastic in your business
Encourage customers to use their own bags and swap plastic bags for paper. Have reusable cloth bags on sale.
Allow people to use their own containers or use card, paper, or foil containers that are 100% recyclable. To help customers recycle its helpful if the containers are marked to make clear they are recyclable.
If your stock comes packaged in plastic ask suppliers for the packaging to be removed. If you feel the packaging is necessary ask for it to be non plastic and 100% recyclable.
Ask lunch suppliers to use plastic free alternatives and encourage them to provide buffets on reusable platters that you can returned.
Remember its always best to avoid packaging all together even if its recyclable. Recycling is preferable to landfilling but usually about 15% of what goes for recycling still gets thrown away due to contamination and the process uses energy. Plastic can only be recycled a few times before it will ultimately end up in landfill, as litter or in the sea.
The best option is to remove straws altogether but if you feel you would prefer to have straws on offer if people ask, options are:
Reusable steel straw. This is the best option in terms of reducing waste but would require washing out and could prove expensive if they go missing regularly.
Uncoated Paper straws. Ensure they are not lined with plastic as this would mean they are not compostable. To minimise waste purchase straws that are not individually wrapped and have bins to collect used straws so that they can be recycled or composted rather than landfilled.
Cups and drinks bottles
Offer a discount if people bring in their own cups. Have refillable cups on offer for sale or a deposit scheme.
To help to reduce the number of plastic water bottles being produced sign up to the Refill app and allow people to refill their water bottles www.refill.org.uk
Replace plastic water bottles with glass bottles which can be refilled with tap water for office meetings.
Provide office staff with thermal drinks cups for drinks on the move.
Remove drinks machines and save the cost of plastic cups.
Plates, cups, cutlery and stirrers
Single use plastics ( SUPs) such as plastic cutlery, plates and cups can be replaced by non plastic items. Beware when buying takeaway cups for use with water dispensers that they are actually 100% biodegradeable. Paper ones are available. Single use cutlery can be wood or compressed paper (these can be purchased locally in Fairhaven).
Reusable stirrers are preferable but if you opt for a disposable option ask your supplier for wooden uncoated stirrers and it is preferable to compost rather than landfill.
Remove sachets and go for bottles of condiments
Try refillable washing up liquid e.g. Ecover,
Buy your tea and coffee in glass or paper containers.
Look into getting your milk provided in glass rather than plastic bottles.
Provide recycling bins in kitchens for plastic food packaging.
Encourage staff to use reusable lunch boxes and provide cutlery / crockery in the kitchen, so there is no need to use disposable plastics.