Businesses can be notorious for bad waste management procedures and plastic disposal by employees is usually at the top of the list.
Used and tossed in the garbage without a thought many of us should be thinking more clearly about our relationship to the synthetic material, which takes hundreds maybe thousands of years to degrade.
In most cases plastic is made from petroleum and natural gas often inundated with a variety of chemicals that aid its strength and durability. Unfortunately, there is great financial burden and difficulty in recycling and reprocessing plastic yet every day more is produced.
The result is that much of the world’s plastic is trashed and sent to landfills where it sits and as plastic ages particles and residue pollute both land and sea contributing negatively to our health and environment.
However, despite the predicament we are in it’s important to remember that the little things we do can still make a difference. When it comes to the office setting this is especially true:
- Plastic cups: Think about how many times a day you walk over to the water machine, fill a cup with water, drink it, throw it in the garbage for the cleaning company to take away and then do the same thing an hour later. Get a mug or some type of glass you can wash and reuse often.
- Plastic utensils and plates: Like cups these are just waiting by the office kitchenette to be taken one after the other. Bring in a reusable fork, knife, spoon and dish and enjoy breakfast, lunch, or diner plastic free.
- Plastic trash bags: The company should use as few as possible and instead focus on limiting the actual amount of trash by setting up a recycling system which divides up plastic, glass, paper, and other materials just like you would at home.
- Plastic water bottles: In order to replace the culture of buying water in bottles and consuming all that plastic the company should give its employees reusable water bottles. Having one of their own may change perceptions and attitudes about plastic usage and encourage the use of tap water whenever possible. Even where tap water is an issue a simple filter usually does the job.
- Use & Reuse Plastic: If you are ever stuck in a situation where plastic is the only option then use and reuse. Also, realize not all plastic is taboo and if you come across durable plastic cutlery or tableware it’s worth purchasing and using over and over. The most important thing to check is how it was manufactured because as was mentioned before most plastic contains chemicals and studies have shown they have the ability to leach into food and other substances they are containing.
- Go biodegradable: Didn’t know? Some manufacturers are making more eco-friendly plastic products that are actually biodegrade. It’s best to try and avoid these too but when necessary they are the best choice.
Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com. He covers various eco-friendly home improvement topics including commercial cleaning companies and window cleaning services.
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