Office recycling | colour-coded bins from SO make recycling easy


Plastic bag usage falls by 85% since 5p charge, but have we forgotten about office recycling?

In October 2016, we’ll celebrate the first anniversary of the introduction of the 5p charge on plastic bags.

By 2014, the number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets in England had risen to a shocking 7.64 billion, 200 million more than in 2013. To put that figure into perspective, even 6m plastic bags laid end to end would stretch 75 times around earth.

Positive steps

After the charge was introduced in 2015, the government expected to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets and it seems their target has been surpassed. It was recently reported that plastic bag usage has reduced by around 85%.

The 5p charge has also triggered donations of more than £29m from retailers towards charitable causes and community groups. All in all, it’s positive news but the problem doesn’t just end there.

Our minds have slowly become re-programmed to keep a few bags for life with us whenever we hit the supermarket aisles, or at least re-use the plastic carrier bags we have. But are we as hot on office recycling?

It wasn’t me

Who hasn’t been witness to that curious transference of responsibility that seems to be inherent in communal spaces such as offices? Unwashed mugs, mildewed tea towels, that tomato soup explosion in the microwave that nobody will own up to.

Can any of us really say we aren’t guilty of occasionally using the wrong recycling bin because we can’t be bothered to walk to the right one/are too busy to read the sign/because everyone else does it? Or maybe there aren’t any facilities for office recycling available.

Recycling definitely shouldn’t end at home. Office recycling clearly has just as much of a part to play in helping to improve landfill issues, protect wildlife, safeguard seas and coastlines and keep litter off our streets.

Time to turn the tide

It is estimated that plastic is eaten by approximately 31 species of marine mammals and more than 100 species of sea birds. There are 8m tonnes of it sent into the ocean each year. That’s not just coming from our homes, it’s coming from our offices too.

Just in case you needed any more incentive to tackle office recycling head-on, did you know that plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down? But it’s not just bags; plastic drinks bottles and disposable coffee cups are also part of the wasteful legacy we are gradually carving as a human race.

That 85% reduction in plastic bag usage is certainly encouraging news for the environment, but there is always more that can be done. Small actions make a huge impact and office recycling has a critical role to play.

Contact SO Recycle about our office recycling bins. Low cost and colour-coded to make them easy for your staff to use.


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