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UN Delivers Global Christmas Present – A Promise to Stop Ocean Plastic Waste

Is your business ready to lend support to the effort?

So here we are; the trees are up; the presents are almost wrapped; we’ve got a fair idea of how long we should cook the turkey; and we’re already contemplating who we can fob the peeling of the sprouts off on to. That means just one thing: there’s time for one last blog before Christmas. And as Christmas is a time for positivity and joy, let’s end the year on some good news.

Like many people, one of the major news stories to catch my attention this year has been the appalling state of the world’s Plastic in our oceans oceans, thanks to the huge amount of plastic waste which has found its way into them. It’s concerned me so much that I, on behalf of MIW, have joined forces with ZSL London Zoo, and a number of other high-profile businesses, for the #OneLess campaign. But while we’re all working to reduce plastic waste one bottle at a time, the UN has gone one step further, pledging to stop ocean waste entirely. This is fantastic news, and I couldn’t wish for a better Christmas present. However…

Why is there always a ‘however’?

The UN resolution has no timetable and is not legally binding, so it’s up to all of us to help make it happen.

The easiest way to help stop plastic ending up in our oceans – or in landfill, which is arguably almost as bad – is to use less of it. So, as my Christmas present to you, here are a few ideas to help cut the waste that your business generates.

Four Ways to Cut Plastic Waste at WorkAudit. Before you can make change, you need to know what you’re already doing, so take a look around your business and make an audit of where waste is coming from. This can not only help the environment, but actually reduce costs for your company too. Work out if there are recyclable or compostable alternatives to the products that you use a lot of and make sure that there are recycling bins available throughout the building.

Reduce packaging. If you can safely provide your product with less packaging it will save you a significant amount of cash, and your customers will thank you for it. With most councils now only collecting waste on a fortnightly – or even monthly – basis, households struggle under the weight of rubbish.

Provide bottle refill stations. Drinking water is really good for all of us, and a hydrated worker is far more productive, but it’s often not viable to have glasses and cups by sensitive tech and machinery. An investment in a bottle refill station – and, if you’re feeling generous, the refillable bottles to match – will keep your team happy and hydrated, reduce plastic waste, and potentially reduce your consumable expenditure if you currently use a cooler with plastic cups.

Dispose of computer equipment carefully. From malfunctioning desktops to printer and copier consumables, every business has its share of e-waste, and this involves all sorts of potentially toxic nasties, as well as a huge amount of plastic. Businesses such as Green IT Disposal and Computer Disposals provide WEEE compliant computer recycling services, while charities like McMillan Cancer Care can raise funds through your old printer cartridges. It doesn’t take much research to find solutions that can work for you and your business.

Reducing plastic consumption is good for everyone – it can save you money, and has the potential to save the planet, so why not number it among your New Year’s resolutions? It certainly beats cutting back on chocolate!

Now all that remains is to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and green New Year from us all at MIW. We’ll see you on the other side!