How to reduce single-use plastic at work

How to reduce single-use plastic at work

#Act for the Wild , #Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Posted on 19th December 2017 by Media Relations

Every year, 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean. It’s essential that we reduce it where and however we can – including in the workplace. We spend a large portion of our lives at work, so it makes sense that we’d try to make this environment reflect our own commitment to reducing single-use plastic.

Once you start reducing the amount of plastic in your own life, you begin to notice it more and more in everyone else’s. Sharing your enthusiasm for your new ocean-friendly habits is a great way to encourage more people to jump on the plastic-free bandwagon, but there are some ways that work better than others!

BYO lunch

Packing your own lunch instead of grabbing take-away will not only allow you to reduce the amount of single-use plastic you’re using, but helps you save money and maintain a healthy diet.

When you’re shopping for snacks to take to work, stick to loose fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid individually wrapped snacks. Instead, buy the bigger pot of yogurt or bag of chips and pack them in reusable containers.

Purchase a stainless steel lunchbox or bento box to store your lunch in. You can wrap your sandwiches in beeswax wraps, which are a great alternative to cling-wrap and you can even make them yourself. 

Make reusable items easily available

Plastic Water BottleMake sure communal areas in your workplace, like the kitchen, are stocked with reusable items like mugs, stainless steel cutlery and plates.

Fill a few reusable bottles with water in the fridge and have a stash of glasses nearby. You can pick all these items up for next to nothing from the op-shop.

Hang a few reusable bags on a hook near the entry and exits of your workplace so when team members head offsite to grab lunch they can BYO bag.

Create a sustainability team

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at least a little curious about how you can reduce single-use plastic at work. There’s more than likely others who feel the same. If there are a few people at your workplace who want to be more sustainable, band together and create a working group.

A sustainability team can run fun environmental events for other team members and work together to develop initiatives that are good for the planet.  

Leave reminders everywhere

Make some posters to remind your colleagues to take their reusable mug to the coffee shop or grab a reusable bag if they’re heading offsite.

Reducing our plastic consumption is all about forming new habits, and giving people a few hints on the way is always appreciated.

Share your enthusiasm!

Get creative and think of a few ways to inspire and motivate others to say no to single-use plastic.

You could have a ‘Plastic Free Morning Tea’ once a month and ask co-workers to bring in a plastic-free share plate of food.

Enthusiasm is contagious! By showing people that reducing single-use plastic doesn’t need to be a hassle, and is instead a fun and positive experience.

Get workplace recycling sorted

Reducing should also come before recycling, but at the end of the day, avoiding plastic waste in the workplace is almost impossible! Chat to your manager about organising separate bins for paper and cardboard, landfill and soft plastics recycling and help keep this items out of landfill.

At Taronga, we believe that wildlife and people can share this planet. But right now, wildlife globally is under threat and they need your help more than ever. Find out more about how you can take action for our oceans.