Recycling in the workplace

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I’ve witnessed a lot of changes during the course of my many years in the packaging business. One of the better changes has been the increased emphasis on what is often known as ‘sustainable packaging’ – i.e. packaging which is designed, manufactured, used and disposed of with consideration for its ultimate effect on the environment and the planet.

Packaging is still something of a bête noire to some environmentalists, which can unfortunately mask the many positive environmental benefits much modern packaging brings to the table. As one notable example, corrugated cardboard boxes are still the most popular packaging material around, and couldn’t have greener credentials: they’re made from mostly recycled material and are completely reusable, recyclable and degradable. Even the process by which kraft paper (a major component of corrugated cardboard) is made is not only sustainable, but can also feed energy into a local grid, as we have detailed elsewhere.

Even plastic packaging isn’t as bad as it is often painted. In the food industry, for example, it can make a massive difference to the shelf life of fresh produce, reducing the waste of fruit and vegetables being thrown away after going off too quickly.

It is also often claimed that companies use too much packaging, and I’d be the first to accept that this does go on – for some particularly excessive examples, I recommend you take a look here! But generally, any sensible company will use the right amount of packaging to get its product safely to the customer – using any more than necessary will, after all, inevitably increase their own costs.

Where real progress has been made is in the provision of the means to recycle or otherwise dispose safely of packaging at the end of its useful life. Which, by means of something of a long introductory ramble, is really what I’m here to talk about to you today.

That’s because we’ve recently introduced a new range of workplace bins, including several specially designed to make recycling your company waste much more straightforward.

While most people these days are aware of the importance of recycling, if you don’t make it easy for your staff to do it, then often they won’t. The corollary to that is the easier you make it for your staff to recycle their waste, and the more you encourage them to do so, the more they will. And it’s worth the effort to you as a business owner or manager for a number of reasons, as WRAP, a government-funded organisation dedicated to spreading recycling in the workplace, spells out on their very interesting and informative website.

If you’re thinking of introducing a recycling scheme at your place of work, our new range of recycling bins includes a number of useful options you might like to consider. One good way of approaching the matter is to get bins of different colours to represent the different kinds of waste you and your staff are generating – aluminium, card, paper, plastic bottles and so on. Naturally, you will also want to create clear signage so everyone knows which bin should be used for what!

The other important thing you need to think about is where you’re going to place your recycling bins. There’s no point, for example, in putting a paper bin in the staff kitchen, when most paper waste is getting generated in the office.

One of the many options we’re now offering is called the Slim Jim Recycling System – you can buy a simple base with a wide selection of different lids for the different kinds of recycling. And they’re Slim because they’ve been specially designed to fit into small spaces, making them ideal even for small companies without a lot of spare room for new bins.

Incidentally, don’t forget we also have ways of encouraging recycling in the warehouse and factory – these racksacks can be hung onto the end of warehouse racking to make collecting your recyclables just as easy there as in the office.

You can find out more about our new recycling bins in by going to the new and extensive Facilities Management section of our website, where you’ll also find other useful things, like cleaning and hygiene products, tissues and dispensers and catering supplies. Otherwise, just call our friendly Sales team on 01332 821200.

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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