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5 Jun 20233 min read

How Organisations Can Reduce Plastic Waste


World Environment Day-01World Environment Day is an annual event celebrated on 5th June to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. This year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”, which aims to encourage individuals and organisations on ways to reduce waste and plastic consumption. Plastic pollution is a major environmental issue that affects our planet, wildlife, and human health. 

As an organisation, you have the power to make a difference by reducing your plastic waste. Here are some steps you can take to become more environmentally friendly and reduce your plastic footprint: 

Conduct a waste audit 

Before you can reduce plastic pollution, you need to know how much you’re producing. Conducting a waste audit will help you identify the types and amounts of waste your organisation generates. An audit also assesses disposal routes (to know how much waste is currently recycled). This information will help you develop ways to reduce waste through a reduction plan that targets the biggest sources of waste. 

Eliminate unnecessary plastic 

After conducting a waste audit, you’ll likely find that your organisation uses a lot of unnecessary plastic. For example, single-use plastic cups and cutlery are common in many workplaces. Provide employees with reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and shopping bags. By making these items readily available and promoting their use, organisations can help eliminate the need for single-use plastics. 

Encourage recycling 

Recycling is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste plastic, but it requires participation from everyone in the organisation. Make sure recycling bins are readily available and clearly labelled, and provide training to employees on what can and cannot be recycled. You can also consider partnering with a recycling company to ensure your plastic waste is properly disposed of and recycled. 

Use eco-friendly products 

When purchasing new products for your organisation, consider eco-friendly alternatives. For example, instead of buying plastic water bottles, invest in a water filtration system and reusable bottles. Look for products made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo or recycled plastic. 

Engage suppliers and partners 

Collaborate with suppliers and partners to reduce plastic packaging. Seek out alternatives to plastic and prioritise working with vendors who share a commitment to sustainability. By collectively addressing plastic use throughout the supply chain, organisations can make a more significant impact.   

Educate employees 

Effective waste reduction requires participation from everyone in the organisation. Educate your employees on the importance of reducing plastic waste and encourage them to make environmentally friendly choices. This can include everything from using reusable bags to bringing their own lunch in reusable containers. 

Set goals and track progress 

To ensure your waste reduction efforts are effective, set goals and track your progress. This will help you identify areas where you can improve and celebrate successes. Having this data will also create a base for a carbon reduction plan. Share your progress with employees and stakeholders to keep them motivated and engaged. 

Innovate and redesign products 

Encourage product designers and engineers to develop plastic-free or low-plastic alternatives. Explore innovative packaging solutions and materials that are biodegradable, compostable, or easily recyclable. By embracing sustainable design practices, organisations can reduce their reliance on plastic and drive positive change.  

Looking at the embodied carbon of your product 

Looking at embodied carbon in a product can potentially reduce plastic waste because it encourages the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the production process. Embodied carbon measures the greenhouse gases produced in the raw material sourcing, manufacturing and transportation of your product. By reducing embodied carbon, companies can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced in the production process, which can help mitigate climate change. Recycling plastics can also help reduce emissions by more than 50% compared to using new plastics. Therefore, if companies prioritise reducing embodied carbon, they may also prioritise reducing plastic waste in their production processes, particularly if their product contains plastics. 

Reducing disposal of plastic is an important step towards protecting the environment and creating a sustainable future. By implementing these steps, your organisation can make a positive impact and help #BeatPlasticPollution. 


If you're looking to find out more information on embodied carbon, click below.