Why Small Businesses should Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
A quick look at the why and how all businesses should move to zero waste solutions, no matter thier size..
“When small businesses remove single-use plastic, they prompt their own people to rethink the ownership of the things they consume and use.”
As zero-waste and environmentally conscious consumers grow in number each year,
the demand for minimally packaged products will only grow with them. There is large growth potential by making the commitment to eliminate single-use plastics. Small businesses should be looking to ensure that all plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable and begin the transition to a circular economy business approach. A circular economy approach ensures that materials are retained within productive use, in a high value state, for as long as possible. It focuses on reshaping business and economic systems so that waste is ‘designed out’ of how we live.
In a report from PR Newswire, its states that 35% of global consumers be encouraged to purchase premium products if they were environmentally friendly. Living responsible lifestyles is becoming more important for today’s consumers, with three quarters globally believing living an ethical/sustainable lifestyle to be important in creating a feeling of wellbeing or wellness. www.prnewswire.com December 2017.
Further to this, the large scale reason as to why businesses need to rethink their use of single-use plastic is that if things don’t change soon, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the Ocean than fish by 2050.
“About 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the Ocean every year. .. The proliferation of cheap and single-use plastic, and the resulting, mismanaged plastic waste, is impacting Ocean wildlife such as marine birds and animals through entanglement or poisoning. It is even entering the food chain through the fish we eat, with potential human health impacts that we are only now beginning to understand. .. The majority of marine plastic comes from land-based sources, from uncollected waste or leaky waste-management systems.” Extracted from The Ocean is Everyone’s Business
When small businesses remove single-use plastic, they prompt their own people to rethink the ownership of the things they consume and use. It creates an ideal for both employees and customers to follow. That means instead of conceding to the ease of buying and discarding, small businesses can start with the simple practice of using actual mugs and glasses instead of constantly disposing of unnecessary polystyrene and (plastic lined) paper cups. Refuse the use of non-biodegradable plastic products such as straws which clog landfills, litter land and waterways, and endanger wildlife.
Other ideas on how businesses can significantly reduce plastic waste:
• Ensure a sound recycling process is followed across your business and reusing plastics as much as possible to eliminate plastic waste;
• Use fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging within business operations;
• As far as possible, remove all single-use plastics from offices, factories, warehouses and retail outlets, such as single-use plastic bags, straws and water bottles. Offer alternatives such as using mugs instead of polystyrene cups
• Invite customers to refill water bottles at water stations and encourage employees to do the same;
• Invest in innovation and design products for re-use, making them multiple use, not single use;
• Place large focus on reducing by-products and waste as far as possible, reducing the amount of waste that finds its way to landfill.
Not only is this ecologically engaged approach the way forward for consumers, it is simply the way the world needs to move if we want to preserve the beauty and wonder that is our world. Be the leaders in this movement that must, and I believe will, happen if we all commit to a greener way of business and life.
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