Plastic-Free Office: Our Tips on Creating a Low-Waste Work Space
Take a look around and your office, how many plastic products can you see? You’d be surprised at how much rubbish is generated from our work spaces. From staples and pens to tea breaks, here are a few tips on creating a plastic-free office.
It’s great to see that more than ever everyone is doing their bit to reduce plastic waste. Reusable bottles are now so normal that a single-use plastic bottle is a bit embarrassing (especially when you work at The Beeswax Wrap Co.)!
We’ve all made the leap to be more conscious of plastic in our weekly food shop and at our local coffee shop, but what about the office? Here are a few easy ideas we’ve adopted that you can easily follow to create a low-waste work space.
Take a look at your desk, how much of your stationery is plastic or single use? From your biro to your stapler and those little yellow note pads (you know the ones we mean!), it’s the everyday office essentials we forget about.
We’ve swapped plastic-cased biros for good old-fashioned refillable fountain pens, and started to use pencils and metal sharpeners too. To quote Claudi, our plastic-free guru and workshop manager “Picture us with pencils behind our ears, like carpenters…”! Our friends Peace With The Wild also have some brilliant plastic-free stationary solutions.
There’s no denying that it’s pretty difficult to operate without paper, so we’ve switched to a recycled option when we really need to use it. We also use scrap paper and any envelopes from our incoming post for making notes. And as for staples? This handy staple-free contraption is a lifesaver.
That’s pretty much all we use in our workshop and office, but if you use plastic products such as cellotape, try switching to paper tape!
Food and Drink
Did you know that almost every tea bag contains plastic? Whether it’s the glue that holds the bag together or the ‘protective’ casing around the packaging, it’s just unnecessary. We buy loose tea packaged in paper and use metal tea strainers; a proper brew and a great excuse for a proper tea break! Click here to find a few of our favourite eco-friendly tea and coffee providers.
Our coffee is roasted locally by a lovely chap called Michael, and every visit we return the paper packaging to be reused for next time. As for the milk, we are lucky enough to work a short walk from Shiny Goodness, a health food store that has a milk-refill station for Woefuldane Organic Dairy in Minchinhampton. Click here to find your local milk-refill station for your office (and home!).
Almost 11 billion items of packaging waste are being generated by British workers’ lunches every year, so we armed everyone with a reusable bottle and lunch box, as well as an endless supply of beeswax wraps, to encourage home-made lunches. Hubbub has some eye-opening facts and figures, and an array of inspiring solutions about shifting lunchtime habits!
Our fab local store Shiny Goodness sells everything you need for low-waste cleaning (they also stock beeswax wraps 😜). Our go-to when supplies run low, we buy refillable washing up liquid, coconut fibre cleaning brushes and handmade soap bars there. For more *industrial* cleaning, we use steam cleaners and reusable cotton cloths, and our toilet paper comes from our friends Who Gives A Crap. You can also buy everything you need for low-waste cleaning online from our friends Peace With the Wild, or find a local zero-waste shop near you.