When you are arranging waste management services for your small business – it can sometimes be tempting to think that the changes you make to your business recycling habits and processes do not have any real impact or benefit in the real world. This can be a logical thought process when you consider the negative publicity that the Australian waste and business recycling industry has received in recent months – i.e. such as shipping rubbish to Queensland for disposal.

 

In today’s blog we wanted to cover two positive business recycling stories – that highlight how small changes in your waste management habits – can really have large impacts on a local and even global level and make you a green business.

 

Waster is a business recycling and waste management company with a real difference – we provide low cost waste and recycling services to small and medium companies on flexible 30 day agreements. You can easily and conveniently book your required service online through our waste portal as below.

 

How business recycling changes can make a real change on a local and global level!

 

In your business – and of course home as well – often we put stuff in the general waste bin that often would be better of in the business recycling bin – items such as bottles, cans, cardboard packaging etc. and plastic bag recycling.

 

The most common reason for doing this is that we often think that it does not really matter.

 

Two great examples of ongoing projects that aim to show small changes can have big impacts include – a plan to end the usage of seemingly innocent plastic drinking straws – and another project aiming to charge people for takeaway coffee cups.

 

Business recycling

 

The Last Straw – is a nicely named project that aims “to end the use of the plastic straws in venues around Australia. We aim to tackle the issue from both sides- encouraging consumers to use less plastic straws and encouraging businesses to give out less straws through staff training and information.”

 

The problem stems from the impact of plastic rubbish in the environment and the impact on sea life:

 

“There is an alarming disconnect between what’s in our hands and where it comes from, or what it means for the future. A plastic straw in my gin might seem innocent enough, but multiply that by the billions of people that buy billions of drinks across the world every single day, and you start to get an idea of the scale of the problem we’re looking at. That straw I threw away after stirring my drink will outlive me and everyone else on this planet. Unless we do something to change.”

 

To put the issue in perspective – alternet.org explains:

“It’s estimated that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every single day. Here’s a scary visual to help comprehend that amount: If you were to connect all those straws together, they would measure two and a half times the circumference of the Earth. That’s just the straws consumed in the United States. And the vast majority of them don’t get recycled.”

 

Like all types of plastic (see our blog on the problems caused by plastic bags) – these straws hang around a long time and can cause real pain and danger to wildlife – particularly sealife.

See below for a video showing the impact on a sea turtle (note – this video may be unsuitable for some viewers).

 

 

What we can learn here is that saying no to  plastic drinking straws or not offering them to customers can have a real benefit.

 

Another great idea is the growing availability of reusable coffee cups available for takeaway coffees. If there is one thing that Australians love – it is walking with a coffee in hand. Coffee cups are very difficult to recycle. Thankfully – there are numerous excellent options available – such as those offered by Keepcup – check out all their designs and options here.

 

Conclusion on business recycling changes

 

It is sometimes good to remember that making small changes in the way your business operates – i.e. such as offering straws or takeaway coffee cups in a cafe or restaurant can have real impacts. See our blog on what we can learn from waste management in the cruise industry.

 

You could offer a discount for reusable cups – or only offer straws if someone requests one?

 

There are lots of ideas to play with and they all make a difference.

 

See our blog on what would happen in Australia if we all recycled more.