Plastic-Free From 9-5: How To Be Plastic-Free At Work

Monitor, yellow mug and flower pot with pens on desk

During the week, we spend most of our time at work. Why not make the office plastic-free? Read our tips to help make your work environment good for the environment. 

Precycle Supplies

Office supplies can generate a lot of waste. Look for office supplies that are refillable and can be used multiple times. Using paper or binder clips instead of staples can help reduce waste or look for refillable supplies. Using fountain pens with refillable ink can cut down on the waste from plastic pens and markers. 

Trade In Tech 

A great way to reduce your office waste is by making sure you are disposing of your office technology properly. Recycle old batteries and participate in tech buy-back programs. You can have your laptops, chargers, tablets and many other devices bought back. You can also donate old devices. Explore buy-back and trade in programs from companies like Staples and TetchyTech and companies like Good360 can help you donate any excess technology. Keep tech waste out of the garbage to reduce waste and help others use those devices in the future. 

Snack Responsibly 

We all love the perk of office snacks. But a lot of snacks come in plastic packaging or other packaging that can’t be easily recycled. Cut down on waste and costs by buying office snacks in bulk from Costco or other bulk stores. When you buy snacks in bulk you can keep them in your own containers and cut down on wasteful plastic packaging. If you can, go to a grocery store like Whole Foods and buy snacks from the bulk section. You can use your own containers and skip the plastic packaging completely. Opting for fruits and veggies can also help to cut down on waste. Stock reusable mugs, cups and plates in the office kitchen and invest in utensils so you can cut out any additional plastic waste. 

Go Paperless 

People who work in an office use an average of 10,000 sheets of paper per year. A lot of paper comes in wasteful plastic packaging. Chances are most of your files are kept online anyway, skip the hard copy whenever possible. If you do have to print hard copies, there are still steps you can take to reduce waste. Print on both sides of the paper and skip cover pages whenever possible. And if paper is a must for your business, make sure to buy paper that comes packaged in recyclable paper or cardboard and not plastic. 

Rally Your Team 

There are tons of ways to get your team involved in reducing plastic waste at work and in the community. You can start by making sure everyone is clear on what can be recycled and what can’t be recycled in your office recycling program. If possible, add a composting service to your waste management to encourage colleagues to dispose of their food scraps sustainably. Encourage having coffee in the office, where reusable mugs make it easy to cut out any plastic drink containers. Looking to do more? Get involved with local organizations to help keep your community clean. Have your team volunteer to do beach or park cleanups at your local community spaces. It can be a great team bonding activity that can help the environment too! 

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