- 90% of companies don’t have a recycling policy and only 20% have a written green policy
- 50 million tonnes of e-waste are produced each year and only 20% of it is recycled
- RAJA now recycles 96% of total waste produced in 2019
Recycling Week is a yearly celebration held by British charity WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme), which encourages individuals and businesses to improve their recycling efforts. This year, the campaign is running from the 21st to the 27th of September and will be its 17th year operating.
Responsibility for reducing waste isn’t just down to individuals – businesses need to step up to the mark when it comes to recycling. Packaging retailer RAJA has revealed the steps they’ve taken to make their business more sustainable, alongside tips from Operations Director, Mark O’Neill, on eco-responsible measures that businesses can implement on a daily basis.
Easy recycling tips for businesses to motivate employees
All businesses have an obligation to keep waste to a minimum and deal responsibly with any waste they produce by actively trying to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover it.Here are some simple ways that businesses can implement effective changes to be more sustainable in the long run.
- Have a green policy in writing
Create a company manifesto to show where your business stands on all things green, which will encourage people to recycle their waste on a daily basis. A recent survey found that only a meagre 20% of businesses have a written green policy to refer to. Having clear and written guidelines can help you reach your sustainability goals and allows you to be transparent with your employees and customers on the sustainability practices within your business.
“At RAJA UK, we recognise our responsibility to protect the environment and are committed to continual improvement in sustainability. Our business is internally audited once per year through the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, as well as externally audited once per year. This ensures we are accountable and aligned with our core green policy point, adopting best practices to our activities wherever practicable.”
- Staff training
Once you’ve put your recycling policy in place, invest time into training staff on how to make sustainable choices. You can do this through regular recycling sessions to educate employees on how to properly recycle, and ways to be more eco-responsible. By holding these meetings, you empower employees to make the right choices when disposing of their waste.
If you already have a company recycling policy, send out a quick survey to your staff to get a gauge on where you need to fill the gaps in their knowledge.
- Introduce centralised recycling bins
Replace personal bins that live under desks with a few core recycling points around the office to encourage staff to split their rubbish and place it into the right bins. You should have a selection of bins that are dedicated to recycling everyday items such as standard paper, plastic and glass. Put clear labels, graphics or signs above the relevant bin as to what can and cannot be recycled to help reduce cross-contamination.
Why stop there? You can add an e-waste (electronic waste) bin to prevent items like ink cartridges, phones, remote controls and laptops from going to landfill. Approximately 50 million tonnes of e-waste are produced each year, and only 20% is recycled. It’s estimated that this will more than double to 120 million tonnes of e-waste by 2050 if action isn’t taken now.
“As a business, RAJA has implemented company-wide recycling bins and it’s proven to be fruitful. We recycled 96% of its total waste we produced in 2019. While this is a fantastic result, we know we can go a step further – which is why we aspire to reduce our landfill waste to zero in the future.”
- Replace single-use cups
It’s no secret that the disposable paper cups by the water cooler, or plastic coffee cups from cafés are no friend to the environment. In the UK alone, 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year and just 0.25% are recycled.To reduce this waste, swap the water cups for glassware and coffee cups for reusable flasks to promote a more sustainable workplace and keep single-use items out of landfills.
- Reduce your energy consumption
Another way to ensure your business is more sustainable is to make smart choices to reduce your energy consumption. This is easily done through simple swaps – make your lighting more eco-friendly with energy-efficient light bulbs like LED lights, managing the thermostat in office buildings and ensuring employees turn off electrical equipment like computers. These quick changes can help make your business more sustainable over time.
“To further our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint, earlier this year, our UK site moved to a new warehouse. The building has a plethora of eco-responsible features such as automatic lights in warehouses and offices, solar panels, a rainwater recovery system for all toilets and electric vehicle charging points in our car park. These help to ensure we’re doing everything we can to reduce our consumption.”
- Think about your transportation
Making your business sustainable can start before you and your employees step into the building. Invest in a range of sustainable transportation alternatives that you can offer your staff, such as the Cycle to Work scheme or carpool initiatives, or introduce electronic charging ports in parking lots to encourage staff to use electric vehicles.
“The new building has features that are helping us to be more sustainable outside of the office, too. We encourage employees that are able to work from home to do so. This is not only for safety, but with no need to commute to the office it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, all company cars will be switched to hybrid models and the parking lot has four charging points for electric vehicles. This can be extended if more employees need the option.”
Implementing sustainable changes to reduce your businesses’ carbon footprint can be easy with the right know-how. With just a few swaps, you can make big steps towards getting your business greener and running more sustainably.