Simple Steps for Small Businesses to Reduce Plastic Waste

Simple Steps for Small Businesses to Reduce Plastic Waste

, by Planet Green, 4 min reading time

Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to our environment, and small businesses play a substantial role in contributing to this issue. However, a straightforward in-house audit can unveil numerous opportunities for businesses to diminish their plastic waste and enhance sustainability. As the world moves away from single-use plastics, small entrepreneurial ventures can actively contribute to reducing overall plastic consumption. Overcoming the perception of difficulty, small businesses can discover how easy it is to make a positive impact on the environment by focusing on sustainability.

Conduct a Single-Use Plastics Audit

Performing a regular audit of single-use plastics, whether on an annual or quarterly basis, is a crucial first step. Contrary to the perception of being labor-intensive, these audits are often quick and simple. Consider breaking the audit into two parts for better efficiency.

Part One: Evaluate Break Rooms and Lunch Areas

Identify the primary sources of single-use plastics related to food and drinks. Start your plastics audit in break rooms and lunch areas, focusing on eliminating or substituting the following items:

  • Plastic Utensils: Replace with reusable metal utensils or compostable bamboo cutlery sets. Compostable cutlery can go into a recycle bin as opposed to a trash bin.
  • Bottles of Water: Substitute with reusable glasses, paper cups, or aluminum cups. Consider water delivery services to minimize single-use cups. Employees can refill a tumbler and keep it at their desk and reduce repeated filling and throwing away of even paper cups.
  • Snack Foods: Opt for healthy alternatives like bowls of fresh fruit or use bulk dispensers for snacks with reusable or washable cups and bowls.
  • Coffee and Tea by the Pod: Switch to brewing by the pot and serving in ceramic washable cups, or if using single-serve machines, opt for reusable and washable pods for Keurig machines.
  • Foam Cups: Replace with mugs, insulated washable tumblers, or stacked paper cups with paper sleeves that can be recycled.
  • Single-Serve Creamer: Replace with larger containers of milk or creamer in the fridge.
  • Plastic Stir Sticks: Easily replace with wooden or pasta-based stir sticks. Bamboo stir sticks can also go into a recycling bin instead of the trash.

Part Two: Review Supplies Purchases

Conduct a walkthrough to identify plastic supplies, prioritizing a review of higher quantity or higher-priced items. Notes taken during this process will facilitate future supply purchase reviews.

Office supplies often contribute significantly to low-use plastics. Surprisingly, going paper-free is an effective strategy to reduce most plastics. Embrace digital work to minimize the need for pens, highlighters, mechanical pencils, Post-It flags, tape, and similar items that generate unnecessary waste. Change becomes habit after you implement it and people will rapidly adjust to digital options.

When reducing plastic waste with printing, it’s important to properly recycle your empty or unwanted ink cartridges instead of throwing them into the trash. When equipment changes happen, instead of throwing out your stock of unopened ink and toner, you can recycle it with your empty ink cartridges at Planet Green Recycle for free when you recycle your empties.

When you visit to recycle your ink cartridges, find a selection of US Remanufactured and Name Brand Surplus ink and toner for your equipment. By choosing recycled ink and toner cartridges, you’re keeping plastic waste out of the environment and saving as much as 70% on regular retail costs with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This fully supports a circular economy and reduces your company’s ecological footprint, a lot!

Plastics gained popularity due to their affordability, functionality, and convenience. While working to eliminate single-use plastics may seem challenging, implementing a few easy changes can make a substantial difference in the daily environmental impact. As you adapt to these adjustments, the long-term benefits of sustainability will seamlessly become a part of your business practices.


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