How to Reduce Waste in Your Business
Reducing waste in your business can bring many different benefits. Not only will it improve your sustainability credentials as a business, but you’ll also save money and even increase customer satisfaction.
By making some changes in your commercial waste management, you can help the environment and your waste disposal costs. Below are our top tips to reduce waste and increase your recycling rates in your business.
Find Out Where the Waste is Coming From
First, you’ll need to find out where the waste is coming from in your business. Speak to your staff about what they think goes to waste and look at what your business produces, what is used, and what gets thrown away. You should look at every area of your business, from the staff room and back office to the shop floor and customer areas.
There might be materials and processes that you can cut back on or cut out completely. It might be that you can reduce the amount you print or even get rid of your printer. Instead of giving customers plastic bags, you could have reusable bags available to buy. By analysing exactly where the waste is coming from, you can make practical and positive steps to reducing the waste produced by your business, as well as save costs.
Reduce Your Packaging
Around one-fifth of the waste we produce is packaging materials, adding up to around five million tonnes of household packaging going to waste every year in the UK. Of course, some packaging is necessary for transporting goods, extending the shelf life of food, and keeping items protected. However, most businesses could benefit from looking at the packaging they produce and seeing where improvement can be made.
It might be that your business is just using too much packaging, and you can reduce what you use. Not only will this help to make your processes more eco-friendly, but you’ll also save money on packaging costs.
You could see if you could swap some of the materials you use for something that is recyclable and more sustainable. You should aim to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your packaging as much as possible, and instead swap to paper, cardboard, or compostable alternatives. For example, instead of using plastic polywrap, you could use materials made from potato starch that customers can put in their compost bins.
Improve Your Recycling Processes
You can reduce the landfill waste your business produces internally too. You should also look at your business processes and staff behaviour to ensure you’re doing everything you can to reuse and recycle items.
You should make recycling bins highly visible and ensure all staff are trained on what can and can’t be recycled. It might be helpful to use colour-coded bins for each type of recycling to ensure items are disposed of correctly. You should make it easy for staff to recycle, so ensure there are just as many recycle bins around as there are normal waste bins. You should also do the same in customer areas, with clear signage on what type of material should go in which bin.
Provide Staff with Reusable Items
To reduce the use of plastic water bottles and single-use coffee cups in your business, you could instead provide your staff with reusable water bottles and travel mugs. You could produce items with your company logo on it for, staff to use when they’re at work and also when they’re out and about. You should make sure staff rooms are properly equipped with cups, cutlery, and crockery, as well as facilities to wash them up, rather than using single-use plastic items.
Engage Staff and Customers in Recycling
You could make sure both staff and customers are engaged in recycling by implementing various initiatives.
For staff, you could have a recycling awareness day, with activities and training focused on recycling and why it’s important. Or you could hold a ‘Swap Day’ for staff to bring in their unused books, DVDs, games, and anything else they might have at home that someone else could make use of.
For customers, make sure there is clear information for recycling on the business premises, and also on any packaging. Depending on your type of business, you could implement an initiative where if customers bring their own reusable item – for example, a container for takeaway food or a travel mug for takeaway drinks – they get a discount.
Away With It is a waste removal expert, providing commercial waste removal in Essex and East London. We can accommodate all sorts of business and can remove all sorts of waste, including food, bottles, bag collections, and even large items like furniture and electrical goods. We can provide a free waste audit to determine the most cost-effective solution for your business, plus we recycle or reuse 80% of the waste we collect, helping you to improve your green credentials.
Contact us to see how we can help with your business waste collection in Essex and East London today.