The need for proper recycling and efficient waste solutions has never been a more pressing or urgent matter for our planet. No matter how big or small, businesses that do their part in contributing to the environmental greater good are participating in solving some of the world’s most daunting problems, such as climate change, natural resource conservation, and pollution at large. These are just some of the issues that businesses who commit to sustainability will both help address and resolve.
One of the biggest environmental setbacks that continues to plague nature is the improper disposal of plastic, specifically within our planet’s oceans. Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans, equating to around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris and accounting for nearly 90 percent of all forms of marine pollution. This results in dozens of global misfortunes, such as causing a devastating toll on marine life and overproduction of greenhouse gases, and reports indicate that plastic pollution of oceans will double by the year 2030.
What Can Your Business Do to Help?
While those figures may seem astronomical, it’s the little things people and companies across the world can do to work toward solving this global crisis. Corporations such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola have recently vowed to exceed their sustainability goals, implementing environmentally-conscious changes such as replacing all single-use plastic products with 100% renewable, compostable materials.
Recently, a Slovakian designer named Lenka Petráková was a recipient of the 2020 Grand Prix Award for Architecture and Innovation of the Sea, for her design of a floating station that would be made up of, ‘interconnected petal-shaped buildings which stand on tentacle-like platforms, (that) all work together to collect plastic debris from the water surface and transform it into recyclable material’.
Nobody expects any businesses to make sudden, drastic policy changes or win architecture medals to aid the battle against plastic pollution in oceans. However, there are plenty of little contributions every company can make that will make big changes to the well being of our world.
If you’re interested in learning how your business can better commit to sustainability, here are six simple waste solutions you can practice to help promote plastic-free oceans:
Emphasize Proper Recycling Strategies
If you’re not doing so already, proper recycling practices should be implemented and enforced at your place of business. It’s estimated that only 9 percent of plastic worldwide is properly recycled, so emphasizing the need for employees to do their part can start by:
● Strategically place recycling bins near areas where recyclable materials are common, such as printing stations or kitchens.
● Reduce printing paper as much as possible and recycle all toner ink and cartridges.
● Recycle any expired or soon-to-be-replaced technology or equipment by contacting the retailer, manufacturer, or qualified waste transportation services.
While it’s one thing to suggest utilizing these recycling practices, it’s important that staff members monitor their recycling solution strategies, as well as hold each other accountable for their commitment.
Encourage Eliminating Single-Use Plastics
As previously stated, single-use plastics, such as straws, bottles, bags, or wrappers, account for around half of all the plastic pollution existing in oceans today. To reduce dependency of these materials, businesses should encourage employees to avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible. This can be achieved through asking coworkers to bring their own utensils, reusable bags, thermoses, steel straws, compostable containers, and more. The biggest way to implement positive recycling change at work is to lead by example.
Create a Recycling Inventory
An easy way to determine how much plastic you’re wasting at work is to conduct your own recycling inventory of any commonly used plastic products and how they’re being disposed of. These items can account for anything ranging from takeout cutlery to scotch tape containers.
Be sure to take products containing microplastics, such as various soaps or cleansing products, into consideration as well. You can also take advantage of customized recycling tracking and reporting services that will inform you of where your recycled materials are being transported to, as well as how they’re being utilized. When you can visualize all the plastic your office is using, the need for change can become more apparent.
People are more likely to contribute to hazardous practices if they don’t fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. Taking the time to post informative flyers or posters of the dangers of plastic pollution in oceans around the office is a minimal course of action that will work even if it only affects one employee. Some awareness of the importance for plastic-free oceans is better than no awareness at all.
Responsible Waste Recycling Services
While there are plenty of little ways to encourage proper recycling of plastic materials at work, knowing you have a trusting resource for safely disposing of hazardous plastic waste is more than enough to do your environmental civic duty.
At LJP Waste Solutions, we’ve been devoted to providing effective and accommodating waste solutions for businesses for nearly three decades. If you’re ready to do your part in promoting plastic-free oceans and saving our planet, contact us today to learn how your business can become more eco-friendly and sustainable, or give us a call at 507.625.1968.