The United Kingdom is still on track towards its target of restricting biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfills to just 35% of its 1995 baseline value in 2020.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra UK) recent data, the UK is at 22% of its baseline value. Biodegradable municipal waste is rubbish that will rot and degrade on its own. The goal is to stop sending BMWs to landfills because they can still be recycled or composted. Here’s how you can contribute to reaching beyond this target in your office.
Shred and Dispose of Unnecessary Documents
Apart from protecting your former and current employees’ personal information, shredding unnecessary documents such as voided cheques and old CVs helps reduce waste in the office. Just make sure you’re partnering with a shredding service provider that recycles the paper waste that they collect. You must also ask for a certificate of destruction for confirmation. This ensures your office’s confidential waste is appropriately disposed of.
Practice Green Packaging
In the same report by Defra UK, over 71% of packaging waste in 2016 was recycled or recovered. Your office can do the same by using cardboard or newspaper to package your items. If possible, reduce plastic use by not using bubble wrap. You may also ask your suppliers if they can send you returnable containers. Less cardboard or plastic waste to worry about.
Buy Recyclable and/or Compostable Items
Not every office can go paperless, so it’s still important to keep a stock of pens and pencils. The problem is, these items create unnecessary waste when they run out of ink or graphite. Pens leave behind their plastic shells and pencils have their eraser crowns.
Buy refillable pens for your employees. Sure, they may cost more and it takes a bit more responsibility to use, but they’re reusable. For pencils, just buy ones without erasers. They can be recycled and composted. You can also opt for a paper supplier that uses paper as packaging instead of plastic.
Side Note: The Difference Between Recycling and Composting
Recycling and composting are similar processes. Both of them involve breaking down a product and converting it into something new. The difference lies in the way they’re processed and utilised. When something is recycled, it’s either melted or broken down with force to be manufactured into something new. Composting, on the other hand, involves letting organic materials like wood and paper break down on their own with the aid of water and sunlight. Compost, in its useable form, is similar to soil. You can use it to fertilise your office plants.
Make Responsible Waste Management a Company Policy
Just like any other project, the best way to create a zero-waste office is by working as a team — brief your employees about responsible recycling practices. If you need a recycling bin, contact your local council and they’ll deliver one to you. Common bin colours are blue for recyclables, brown for kitchen and garden, and green or grey for non-recyclable waste. Paper, cardboard, and plastic bottles often go in blue bins. Cooked and uncooked food can go in the brown bin. Green or grey bins are reserved for plastic bags, styrofoam, sanitary products, and more. You must provide proper orientation when introducing a new recycling system or product.
Going zero waste won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge worth taking. Your office’s green journey doesn’t have to stop there, either. Once your workplace goes zero waste, try applying it and other renewable methods to your products and services. A small change from within is all it takes.
Get a Shredding Service That’s Committed to Producing Zero Waste
Creating a zero-waste office is better when you’re opting for services that are committed to conserving resources. At LKM Recycling, we make sure your confidential paper waste doesn’t go to a landfill. We offer regular and on-demand collections for your workplace. We provide a certificate of destruction upon request. We also provide hard drive and media destruction.
Contact us today for your paper waste management needs.