Think before you print
80 million tonnes of paper is discarded every year in the UK and accounts for 24% of total UK waste. Think - do you really need to print at all? If you do need to print, make it double sided (most computers have duplex print capability). You could also print two pages to a side to further reduce paper consumption.
Invest in paperless solutions: use apps for everyday tasks such making notes, communications, and setting reminders (goodbye post-its!). Issue employees with tablets rather than notepads.
Put things away in a neat, tidy and systematic way. Not only will you know where things are, but you'll reduce the likelihood of things being damaged and needing to be replaced.
Reuse and recycle
- Provide air dryers or reusable hand towels in toilets and common areas as an alternative to disposable paper towels.
- Provide water coolers or drinking fountains instead of vending machines - and rather than plastic cups, provide real drinking glasses.
- Buy recycled paper for your printers - 70% less energy is needed to recycle paper than is needed to make it from raw materials.
Sort out your systems - and get everyone on board
- Encourage all staff to save scrap paper and reuse it where possible before recycling.
- Make sure you have recycling bins in every area of your workplace, and train all staff to follow the recycling rules for your county, such as separating different types of waste, and putting food waste in a compost bin.
* Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.