At SmartPayroll, we’ve gone plastics free! We’ve taken this initiative because of the concerning environmental problems caused by waste plastics, particularly the effects of plastic ending up in the ocean and killing sea life.
We’d like to play our part in eliminating this problem. And it’s a big problem! According to The Plastic Oceans Foundation “We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year”.
Making our office more environmentally friendly reminds us of our role in taking care of the environment both as individuals and as a responsible business. So, from this week on, we’ve vowed to do without as much plastic as possible and we’d encourage all our friends and partners to do likewise. We think it’s a great challenge and we’re looking forward to playing our part!
We’ve taken simple steps such as removing all the rubbish bins next to desks to remind ourselves to think about where we put our rubbish and to encourage everyone to recycle as much as they can. This also eliminates our use of bin liners. Instead, we use colour-coded communal bins so staff can easily sort their waste and recycle, where possible. Saves money, too.
We also encourage everyone to think about the little things they do and look for areas in which a change in behaviour can easily make a difference. For example, single-use water bottles cause numerous environmental problems. The bottles can take hundreds of years to degrade, and even if we melt them down to eliminate waste, they still release toxic fumes. Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas, so reducing consumption of bottled water can make a difference across the entire production and transport chain. It’s a simple matter to provide water fountains in the office and to encourage staff to use reusable containers.
Recycling can play a part, too. Some plastic use can’t be avoided, so we try to recycle as much as possible. In Wellington, most recycling is collected and taken to sorting and baling plants in Seaview. The trouble is, plastic is very cheap to make and buy new, so there is not much of a market for recycled plastics. The key is to reduce consumption in the first place.
It’s not just about the office. We hope our initiative spreads beyond our office front door out into the wider community. Adopting a recycling and environmental plan at work can not only boost office morale but also increase efforts at home making us all better off and producing real environmental gains. So, another area we think about is the use of food wrappers and transport not only at work but at home, too. Reusable shopping bags are an easy alternative. Bringing reusable containers for lunch and choosing vendors who offer paper bags is another simple thing to do.
It all adds up!