Recycling in the Office

Posted: 2020-05-15 

The issue of waste such as single use plastics and the endless supply of office paper has become a hot topic as of late due to the ever growing pollution of our seas and the dwindling of the forests used to supply us our paper. It is an enormous problem that one person cannot hope to tackle on their own but, within the office environment, there are definitely ways that companies and employees can do more to help with the wastage offices produce. Below we have listed a few helpful behaviours that you can do to help ensure your company is doing their part.


Go paperless:

This is a practice that has been touted as far back as the mid 00’s but it is amazing just how little some companies have done to ensure this becomes a thing. Alas, it’s impossible to go completely paperless, as letters still need to be written, brochures need to be printed and employees need contracts, yet robust bespoke IT systems can ensure that filing cabinets filled to the brim with outdated paperwork are a thing of the past.

Go pro-recycling:

This one seems like a no brainer really, but many companies only adhere to the very basics of office recycling. Why not push it further? Why not make it a practice that your office can advertise and be proud of? Write it explicitly into work policy and ensure all staff adhere to it and there is no reason why other companies can’t take a page out of your book and do the same. You are not setting a trend as such, just upping the ante on practices that should already be in place.

Offer rewards:

Of course, being proud of your company’s recycling policy only works if the employees stick to it. Unfortunately, humans are a fickle bunch and tend to only take part in an initiative if they are forced to or there is a reward. Forcing your employees into doing something they don’t want to do does not make for a good atmosphere, but why not advertise a friendly competition between different office branches or teams, or state that if a particular quota is reached the office can have a pizza day? There are all kinds of motivators you can use rather than resorting to the sword of Damocles.

Lead by example:

Even with initiatives, there will always be those that wont bother and as disheartening as that may be, it is something that is apparent in every office. But do not go by their example, set your own. Make the effort, ensure you place the litter in the correct bins and, if you see litter in the incorrect bins, do not be afraid to place them in the relevant ones. Do not be condescending about it, just do it without fanfare, and make sure you wash your hands afterwards. It will often feel like a losing battle, but it is one that is worth doing.

There is obviously much more that companies, both big and small, can be doing to aid in reducing their footprint when it comes to waste and recycling but hopefully, by taking some of the steps mentioned here, you can make a start in doing some good.