Recycle Week: How can you step up your business recycling?

22nd October 2021 Posted by

It’s time to celebrate! From 20 – 26 September, Recycle Now (England’s government-funded national recycling campaign) will be running Recycle Week. Back for its 18th year, Recycle Week is the annual event that brings everyone together — businesses, recycling companies, governments, and the media — to do one very important thing: encourage people to recycle more. Whether that’s making the public aware of their local recyclable waste facilities, finding ways to improve waste collection and waste disposal — or cutting back on waste altogether — Recycle Week is all about positive change.

According to Recycle Now, things are heading in the right direction: more than 60% of the public in England say that they’re committed to recycling, which is twice as many as when the campaign began in 2004. It’s clear that, as a nation, we’re increasingly seeing the importance and benefits of recycling. But there’s still lots to do, and crucial changes to make, in terms of changing the way we use the planet’s resources. So, to raise a toast (in a recycled glass, of course) to Recycle Week 2021, we’re sharing our top tips on how to recycle more at home and at work.

Recycling: the planet-friendly option

Encouraging the world to embrace recycling is a hugely impactful way to protect the planet for generations to come. This Recycling Week, we’re reminding ourselves of the impact of recycling on the climate, and how we can work towards cutting carbon and meeting our climate-change goals simply by sending less of our waste to landfill.

The Bureau of International Recycling has found that recycling can save over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions each year; an incredible contribution in the fight to protect the climate. When less energy is needed to manufacture recycled metals or plastics (as opposed to virgin materials), less carbon is emitted in the process — leading to a drop in the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

It’s promising to see the increasing uptake of recycling around the world, with many communities adopting it as a routine part of life. But we need to go further; the Global Recycling Foundation is urging individuals, businesses, and governments to step up their involvement, and help to boost investment and engagement in recycling.

Making it happen at home

Thinking about the scale of the global recycling mission can seem a little intimidating at times — but the good news is, there’s so much you can do at home. What’s more, recycling is one of the most impactful and easiest ways that you can personally make a positive impact on the environment. Following these simple tips will help you ensure that your waste can be successfully recycled:

  1. Checking and sorting

It’s important that items end up in the right recycling bins at home — and remember, some items will need to be taken to your local household waste and recycling centre (HWRC) instead. Items to watch out for include electricals, pans, and textiles. Depending on what type of plastic something is made from, your waste provider may not be able to recycle it. If you’re not sure whether something can be recycled in your area (at home or generally), check out your local council’s website.

  1. Keep recyclables clean

There’s no need to scrub items until they’re spotless — but do make sure they’re free from any waste or residue, so that they don’t contaminate other recyclable materials. Before adding plastics or glass to your recycling, simply rinse them beforehand.

  1. Keep the lid on

Bottle caps can be recycled, but remember to keep them on the bottle. Metal lids and caps on glass containers, e.g. metal jam jar lids, can be left on to recycle with glass. These are different types of metal to cans, tins and aerosols and are recycled in a different way. Putting the lids back on glass jars and drinks bottles reduces the chance of them getting lost through the sorting process.

Business recycling: Boosting your sustainability at the office

Our recycling habits at work make just as much of a difference as those we have at home — if not more so, due to the scale of materials used by some businesses. So, to help maximise the recycling process in your office, we’ve picked out some key tips below:

  1. Cut back on single-use plastic

An easy way to do this is to opt for reusable containers for food and drink. When bringing lunch to work, pack it with reusable containers and silverware, instead of using a plastic bag or disposable cutlery. The same goes for drinks – get a reusable coffee cup that you can fill up again and again, rather than getting a single-use cup at the coffee shop. Although plastic bottles are recyclable, they are often made from virgin plastic, so purchase a reusable water bottle that you can fill up as needed.

To avoid lots of plastic bottles ending up in your business recycling waste, why not stock the fridge with filtered water jugs? Bottled water and tap water have roughly the same mineral content — so this is a great way to keep staff happy and hydrated, while doing your bit for the environment.

  1. Place recycling bins strategically

To make it easy for people in your workplace to recycle, strategically place recycling bins where they are needed most. Obvious places are near printers and copiers for paper, and in the break room for paper, plastics, aluminium, and so on. One approach is to have a recycling receptacle next to each general waste bin.

Make it extra-simple for your team to recycle old notes and post-Its with personal recycling trays.

  1. Recycle food waste separately

Ensure your food waste is recycled. Many businesses add food waste to their general waste, which impacts the environment as food waste can go to landfill where it can produce harmful gases. However, it also can affect your company’s bottom line as food waste makes general waste heavier, adding to your waste bills.

For more information on how SUEZ could help you reach your business recycling targets, get in touch today.

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