trash in the recycling bin

Best Ways to Encourage a Work Culture of Recycling

In any modern office, recycling materials is becoming more important day by day. As people are becoming more environmentally conscious, they are starting to understand the importance of reusing and reducing wastage. It’s beneficial in many ways: It reduces the amount of energy used, reduces pollution to oceans and landfills, and creates jobs in the economy. Nowadays, individuals have grown more cognizant of their own roles in recycling, and companies have followed suit by reflecting this mindset. But company executives are often confused about how to bring about a culture of recycling in the workplace. People can be unaware of the significance of the office as a source of waste. Here are some ways to bring about change in your office:

1. Place recycling bins in prominent locations.

The best way to get people to recycle their waste is by placing recycling bins in prominent locations. They should be visible so that people don’t have to look around for them and waste time. They should also be centralised so that the employees can’t just chuck their waste under their desk. Place bins in public locations so that people feel the pressure to sort their recycling correctly.

2. Make sure that they are labelled.

Most of the time, labelling on recycling bins can be extremely confusing. Make sure that the bin you have is well-planned. Write explanatory notes on them about what should go in, and be specific, such as waste paper or clean paper. If necessary, use pictures to convey what should go into a bin. Make sure that there is no “general trash” option; people will develop the habit of unwittingly throwing all their waste in that one trash bin.

shredded paper in the bin

3. Change packaging in the office cafeteria.

To promote awareness, institutional changes need to be made. You can get rid of to-go cups in your office cafeteria and introduce biodegradable utensils instead. You can also charge extra for disposable cups so that people are encouraged to bring their own cups from home. You can have a countertop display of recyclable coffee mugs so that people are encouraged to buy one and stick to using it.

4. Work on your procurement.

Part of institutional change includes being aware of where you are sourcing your products and raw materials from. Where you have the choice, always go for the recycled alternative. Use recycled paper for everything, from printer paper to toilet paper.

5. Actively discourage paper usage.

Most waste in an office comes from overuse of paper. Actively discourage excess paper usage by getting rid of paper handouts from meetings. Make sure that both sides of paper are being utilised, and get rid of company notepads that are prone to being misused. Instead, you can give out styluses to your employees to encourage virtual note-taking.

The decision to become more eco-conscious is always laudable. Keep in mind that every little change matters. Make sure to measure and monitor your progress, and share these facts with your colleagues to lift the team spirits.

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