4 ways to reduce your business waste
If you’re a business looking to reduce your expenditure and lower your carbon footprint, looking at how your waste is being managed may be the key. The United Kingdom produces more waste per capita than almost every other country, with businesses contributing a substantial portion.
Unless businesses manage their waste effectively, it could be costly for them and have devastating consequences for the environment. Luckily, there are numerous ways for businesses to reduce their waste. From going paperless to bulk buying, incorporating even just one of these suggestions into your business plan will help you reduce your waste and cut costs.
Cut down on your paper usage
Offices use more paper than most other sectors combined, and a significant amount ends up not being recycled. The average worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper a year, with over 30% not being picked up from the printer at all. With such high figures, one of the easiest ways to reduce your business waste is to cut down on your paper usage or cut it out altogether.
Simple tricks to cut down on your usage could include:
1. Printing on both sides of the sheet.
2. Waiting until the open stack of paper is empty before opening a new one.
3. Reducing the size of your text to fit more on each page.
Small changes such as these may not seem like anything, but they’ll greatly reduce your paper wastage. One of the simplest solutions is to do away with paper all together. With the shift to online working, paper is becoming less needed in modern offices.
Applications such as Google Docs and Microsoft Teams will allow your staff to edit documents and contribute in real time, with less need for physical copies of notes you might not even notice the difference.
Look into bulk buying
Bulk buying is a tried and tested method of reducing waste. Especially in larger businesses where packaging can result in a significant amount of rubbish, ordering your items together or from the same company can greatly save on plastic and cardboard.
Bulk purchases also come from one supplier in one location, meaning that your orders will require fewer deliveries. This directly reduces the amount of carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere as you’ll need fewer vehicles on the road.
Buying in bulk isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also cost-effective, a time saver and profitable. Instead of reordering separately each month or quarterly, purchasing a bulk amount lends the reassurance that you have enough product or items for an extended amount of time. If you’re purchasing significant amounts from suppliers, you may be able to negotiate a deal on prices that could save you money too.
Make recycling easier
Recycling should be at the forefront of your waste management scheme, otherwise you may need to reconsider your planning as this method is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste.
Your business should already have recycling bins from your council, but introducing office ones can make sorting rubbish much easier. Having clear, coded bins around the business and doing away with unlabelled plastic ones will make your workers much more likely to recycle.
Dry recyclables such as paper, metal and plastic make up almost 40% of global waste. If this trend continues, global waste will increase 70% by 2050. When reducing your business waste, considering these statistics is important. If even just half of your business waste makes it into recycling bins, you’ll be greatly contributing to the environment.
If you’re unsure exactly how recycling works for your business type, advice is available. There are a range of waste management companies out there today able to help with all kinds of solutions, including the handling of general waste, recycling and glass. Regardless of your business type, safe waste disposal is possible.
Make eco-friendly choices when purchasing
One of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of waste that your business produces is through reconsidering your purchasing habits. Most items needed in your business will have alternatives that are more eco-friendly and less likely to produce lots of waste.
For example, instead of buying plastic disposable water bottles for your drinking fountain, consider purchasing paper ones instead. Alternatively, introducing a water filtration system is extremely worthwhile, this way employees can use glasses or bring in their own bottles.
Shopping around for more environmentally friendly options may take up a little time, but the amount of wastage reduced will be a big reward. Most eco-friendly options are sustainable in the longer term and can save you money, so it’s worth searching for a while till you find the right for your business.