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Packaging

Getting rid of plastics from your business’ everyday practices can make a huge impact, and it’s easy to do with a few small changes.

What you can do

Choose to refuse single-use plastic products and packaging in your business.

How you can do it

To get started, conducting a  bin audit can be a great way to understand the single-use plastics you’re generating as a business. It’s also a way to identify the plastics that you could avoid, or recycle.

Once you know what your goals are, consider creating a green team at your business. It’s a way to involve like-minded people, and it can demonstrate to staff that you live out your values as a business.

Many businesses find that amending their procurement policies is a powerful way to reduce single-use plastics (see our procurement card for ideas). This might include asking suppliers to pack without plastic, and requesting reusable / returnable / sustainable packaging such as recycled cardboard boxes or ‘jackets’ to replace plastic wrap on pallets.

If that’s not possible, you might want to look beyond your current suppliers and see if there are others out there offering more sustainable packaging and solutions.

When it comes to doing business, you can make a difference by offering reused packaging to your customers. Many retailers, instead of throwing out cardboard boxes, keep them on hand for customers who forget their bags. Some companies that ships orders, use shredded paper to protect products instead of bubble wrap.

Taking the next steps

There are plenty of extra steps you can take, depending on the industry that you work within. As a starting point, here are just a few plastic free ideas that are taking hold in the business sector:

  • Hotels are offering shampoo and other in-room supplies in bulk dispensers instead of single-use plastic bottles.
  • Retail shops are shortening the supply chain to have more influence over the packaging used.
  • Food businesses are choosing to use reusable containers instead of plastic wrap on food.

The Impact

  • Typically, for every one bin-full of waste generated, 70 bin-fulls was generated upstream in making it. That means it’s important to reduce waste through good purchasing practices.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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