Single-use plastics are the largest cause of ocean pollution, with an estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic in our oceans today at a rate of 8 million tonnes per year. Locally, we can all help to reduce this by committing to avoid single-use plastics, including within your business.
Single-use plastics are products that are only used once before they are thrown away or recycled, including items such as plastic bags, straws, cups, cutlery, take-away containers, packaging and balloons.
How you can reduce single-use plastic in your business
Businesses around the world are already choosing to avoid single-use plastic and excess packaging including global furniture producer IKEA, McDonalds, UK supermarket chain ASDA, global coffee producer Costa Coffee and global water giant Evian.
We recently met with representatives from local traders and business associations to discuss ways we can support you in the change.
Here are our top 10 tips to help reduce single-use plastic in your business:
- Ensure all workers have a reusable cup and water bottle, and regularly promote this.
- Work with suppliers to source products with non-plastic packaging.
- Stop providing single-use plastic items to customers and source more sustainable options e.g. encourage customers to use their own reusable bags and if you need to provide a bag use paper bags only, reusable metal straws for customers who eat-in, cardboard food containers, cardboard cups, and avoid polystyrene and small paper items that are too small to be recycled such as paper straws.
- Swap plastic bottled water with filtered water tap dispensers.
- Buy reusable office supplies e.g. metal cutlery, ceramic crockery, refillable soap dispensers.
- Organise for a ‘co-mingled’ (mixed) recycling collection to recycle all of your hard plastics such as plastic bottles, take away food containers, yoghurt pots and milk bottles.
- Encourage staff to bring a plastic free lunch by using reusable containers and bees wax wraps.
- Encourage staff to take home and recycle all of their soft-plastics (e.g. bags, cling wrap, soft wrappings, chips and sweets wrappers) through the REDcycle program.
- Recycle polystyrene at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre.
- And importantly, get staff and customers involved and have fun with it!
Consumers are increasingly demanding more sustainable products and solutions from businesses. By reducing the amount of single-use plastics your business uses, not only are you reducing your own waste, you will shine a positive light on your business and can help other businesses to act.
We can help
City of Boroondara offers a range of workshops to assist you in being environmentally sustainable. View upcoming sustainability workshops
For support in reducing single-use plastic in your business, get in touch with our team at [email protected] or 9278 4873.