If you’ve been on the internet, social media or even Netflix over the last few months, you’ve probably heard of the ‘zero waste’ movement. It’s both a philosophy and a strategy for living that aims to reduce the human production of rubbish – particularly plastics, palm oils and other things that are harmful to our environment. Plastic straws are the current target, with consumers calling for businesses to stop supplying them, and instead switch to paper alternatives. And while you might think that this consumer movement doesn’t impact you as a business, think again. Because as customers become more loyal to businesses who use paper products over plastic, you will need to change, and that will result in more paper waste for your business to deal with. So today, we wanted to look at the impact of the zero waste movement on businesses, how you can commit to it yourself, and how to handle your paper waste.
Why Businesses Should Care
Business people are real system optimisers. They don’t like “waste” because it is the result of a system inefficiency. Not only “waste” costs businesses money, but it also symbolises bad design as a whole. As circular thinking is getting popular, leaders from around the world are realising the perfect alignment between the zero-waste philosophy and business performance. Even smaller changes in the supply chain can have a ripple effect that’s positive to the bottom line, all of which helps the business become more successful. Plus, the positive press and goodwill that is generated from the zero-waste, environmentally friendly stance has been shown to translate into increased sales and customer loyalty. So overall, going zero-waste makes good business sense. And it’s good for the environment too.
Mission Zero Waste
Achieving zero waste requires significant management commitment, because it can impact every facet of a business. From product design, choice of manufacturing processes, logistics and supply chain decisions as well as waste management and recycling considerations. The supply chain processes play a pivotal role in realising targets through developing more sustainable product management and recycling practices. So the first step is to analyse every part of your business to determine where the waste is being generated. This may result in you switching manufacturers or suppliers, or even choosing to take some things in-house that you were previously outsourcing. A major change will be to opt for paper or biodegradable materials in your business instead of plastic, which not only reduces the environmental impact your business will have, but also makes it easier for you to dispose of waste ethically.
Dealing With The Paper
The good thing about zero waste is that it significantly reduces the amount of plastic waste businesses produce. But that plastic has to be replaced with something, and for most businesses, the best alternative is paper. That leaves you with another problem – what do you do with all the paper?! Thankfully, this is an easy one to solve. If you’re in retail and using paper for things like food containers, coffee cups and so on, most suppliers will also offer a collection and recycle scheme as part of the service. So you can fill a box, bag or other container and have it collected to be recycled. You also have kerbside recycling options, if they exist for businesses in your area. But for all of the other paper waste your business is producing, you have shredding companies like us. We take all of your unneeded, waste paper, and feed it through our industrial shredding units. The resulting shreds are secure – so you don’t have to worry about losing data – and formed into huge bales. These are then sent off to recycling plants all over the country to be reused again and again, reducing the amount of new paper needed and cutting down significantly on plastic manufacturing too. And we don’t just take paper – we can also destroy and recycle hard drives, old products, even fabric and clothing!
At Hungry Shredder, we work with businesses across the UK who want to reduce the amount of waste they are producing and support the environment. Our secure shredding service is designed to give businesses two main advantages – an environmentally friendly way to dispose of their waste products, with the peace of mind of knowing they have been disposed of securely and safely, in line with government guidelines and GDPR. If you would like to know more about how we can help you dispose of your waste effectively, just get in touch with us today.