It’s no secret that the UK has a serious problem with plastic waste. It is filling our oceans, chocking our wildlife and wiping out marine species. While we’re aware of the problem, and many of us are worried – let’s face it nobody wants a world without dancing dolphins and beautiful birdsong, many of us still do nothing to reduce our plastic waste.
So, why is this? Maybe we simply don’t know the alternatives and how to change. Or maybe we see it as time consuming and expensive. Well, we’re here to change your mind and explain how cheap and easy it can be to reduce plastic waste, especially in the workplace.
Let’s start with the things that, with a little support from the team, we can easily change without impacting our day.
For example, why not switch up plastic milk bottles in the office kitchen and go all retro with a trendy glass alternative. Many suppliers already have this option available and not only is it quirky, it’s a great way to waste less plastic.
Another simple change involves the nation’s favourite – tea. You may not even know that tea bags contain plastic, but they do, and all those cuppas you enjoy throughout the day are impacting the ecosystem. Scrap the tea bag and buy your office a good old tea strainer. They are becoming increasingly popular and unique, modern options are widely available. Just remember not to buy tea leaves wrapped in plastic!
Let’s Cover Lunch
Lunch may present a struggle for those who aren’t used to pre-preparing food. However, the best way to reduce plastic waste is by bringing lunch from home in a reusable lunch bag or Tupperware.
If this isn’t for you, get your lunch from local markets or food stalls that don’t generally use plastic. Bakeries are also brilliant alternatives to the shop. Food is fresher, so usually tastes better and your sandwich comes wrapped in a lovely paper bag. You can always grab a cake while you’re there too.
We also have a handy tip to scrap the expensive supermarket carrier. Leave a canvas tote bag in the office that you can pick up when you’re heading out for lunch.
Consuming water throughout the day is a vital part of staying alive, as is a cup of coffee here and there. The amount of waste that we incur through buying bottled water or pop, grabbing a take-out coffee or using plastic cups is huge and so easily avoidable.
Bringing your own reusable bottle to the office is the ideal solution to bottled water. Certain types will keep your water cold and your coffee hot. What’s more, in office water filters or simple desk filters make tap water just as tasty as bottled.
If you are someone who loves to visit a good old coffee shop, there is a solution for you too. Many high-street stores now offer their own branded reusable cups that will get you 25p off your drink when used. It’s a win, win.
Being in the progressive city of London, reducing plastic waste is even easy when out and about. As mentioned previously in a London Offices article, filling stations have appeared throughout the capital. So, if you’re feeling thirsty after leaving the office, your reusable bottle will come in handy once again.
Secret Santa Ideas
Now that Christmas is fast approaching, why not use the office secret Santa to get your colleagues on board with reducing their plastic waste. Reusable bottles or mugs, tea strainers or tote bags will all make practical, fun and eco-friendly gifts.
Overall it’s about making small changes to create a big difference. We don’t expect you to completely overhaul your life, scrapping all plastic products, but just make as much of a reduction as possible. And remember if you can’t reduce, re-use!