Did you know that just 20 companies create over half the world’s plastic waste? There is hope for reducing plastic waste and saving our planet and oceans. Plastic Free July challenges individuals and businesses around the world to examine their plastic use and explore ways to reduce it. It has inspired more than 100 million participants across 190 countries to make changes that will have a significant impact on the world’s plastic problem. Read on to learn how your business can join the Plastic Free July movement and take steps to reduce plastic waste.
Tips for Businesses to Reduce Plastic Use
Businesses can make small changes that produce big results for reducing plastic waste. Plastic Free July is the perfect time to rally employees and make lasting transformations to your workplace. Keep reading to learn the best ways to reduce plastic use and make a commitment for Plastic Free July at your business.
1. Get rid of plastic cups
Focusing on eliminating a specific plastic item in the workplace is a simple way for businesses to participate in Plastic Free July. The cost of purchasing single-use plastic cups adds up over time. The use of these cups contributes significantly to the plastic waste problem—500 billion plastic cups are used around the world every year.
Your business can significantly reduce its plastic waste by removing plastic cups from the workplace. Opt for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective solution by investing in reusable and washable drinkware.
2. Encourage employees to bring reusable bottles to work
Plastic bottles contribute significantly to the amount of plastic waste in oceans. Plus, they take a lot of resources to produce (it requires 17 million barrels of oil to create a one-year supply of plastic bottles).
Help reduce plastic waste by encouraging team members to bring their own reusable water bottles to work. You can even make reusable water bottles a standard piece of office equipment at your business. Give employees complimentary bottles branded with your company logo to promote Plastic Free July. Partnering reusable water bottles with water refill stations like bottleless water coolers at your business will have a positive effect on reducing plastic waste.
3. Engage staff to join the effort
Once you’ve introduced staff members to the harms of plastic waste, provide them with ways to use less single-use plastic in their day-to-day lives. Engage and educate staff so they understand the importance of plastic waste management and reduction. Get your team members talking about ways to reduce plastic use by hosting an educational movie screening or inviting a guest speaker to come to your business.
By asking employees to rethink their relationship with plastic, you’ll inspire changes that reach beyond your business. Your team members will take the information and new habits they learn in the workplace home and encourage friends and family to make changes.
4. Boycott single-use plastic packaging
The EPA estimated that in 2018 alone, 14.5 million tons of plastic packing and containers ended up as municipal waste. That number has increased significantly since COVID. Help your business cut back. Conduct an audit of how your business operations use plastic packing. Identify areas where you can reduce plastic waste. Ask your suppliers to pack goods without plastic or request packaging that’s reusable or returnable. Depending on your industry, you can eliminate single-use plastic packaging by replacing it with more sustainable packing options.
5. Avoid single-use utensils
Single-use utensils are another item your business can focus on eliminating to support Plastic Free July. This is especially true for restaurants, but any organization can take steps to target plastic utensils in their break rooms and cafeterias.
The market has plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to plastic utensils made from materials like wood or plant-based matter. Instead of constantly replacing the cutlery in your cafeteria, you can purchase reusable stainless steel utensils. Your business will save money in the long run and the planet will thank you for it.
6. Put up “Go Plastic Free” signage to keep everyone motivated
Placing signage around your business to promote Plastic Free July keeps employees engaged. It also creates a sense of responsibility for them to participate in your organization’s efforts.
Create goals for reducing plastic waste at your business and post them around the workplace. Use messaging that motivates employees to work towards achieving those goals. Choose key areas to place signs like the entrance to your business. Or, look for places where people commonly use single-use plastics, like the breakroom or cafeteria.
7. Team up with other plastic-free businesses
Many businesses are adopting a circular economy model that focuses on eliminating waste and pollution, especially plastic pollution. This model relies heavily on businesses working together to remove plastics from their operations.
Explore how to source your materials from suppliers that don’t use plastic in their products or packaging. Your business can make a huge statement and a big impact by only working with other organizations that operate plastic-free.
8. Use innovative materials
Companies around the world are coming up with innovative ways to reduce plastic waste and combat climate change by producing new materials to replace plastics. Plastic Free July is a great time to start thinking outside of the box to discover new ways for your business to source materials. You’ll be surprised to discover that there are many new plastic free materials available made out of things like algae, banana fibers, and food waste.
9. Offer clean, great-tasting water with Quench bottleless water coolers
One of the best ways to reduce plastic use at your business is to install a bottleless water cooler. A single bottleless water cooler can keep 7,000 single-use bottles out of the environment every year.
Quench offers bottleless water coolers that connect directly to your building’s water supply to provide employees with an endless source of clean, great-tasting water. Since bottleless water coolers connect to your building’s water source, you reduce your business’s plastic waste while also saving time and money you would otherwise spend on a water delivery service.
Quench bottleless water coolers use filtration, so they save your business from the costs of bottling, packaging, and shipping water. You also save time since you don’t have to schedule and wait for water deliveries or spend time and resources moving water bottles or jugs around the workplace.
Lastly, installing a bottleless water cooler from Quench will reduce carbon emissions—by ditching plastic water jug delivery, your business will save up to 140 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 6 million gallons of fuel, and millions of gallons of water every year!
Ready to make the switch to a Quench bottleless water cooler to save time and money, and reduce your environmental footprint? Check out our cost comparison calculator to see how much money your business could save and try our product finder to get matched with the best bottleless water cooler for your business.