January is all about making decisions to do something new (or stop old bad behaviours) in the coming 12 months. Often these involve cutting out chocolate and investing in a gym membership. But New Year resolutions don’t just apply to our private lives, businesses can make them too.
The start of a new year is the perfect time for your organisation to set fresh goals to improve its recycling and waste management practices. It’s even more timely as Defra’s simpler recycling plans for 2025 are on the horizon and the UK’s 65% recycling rate target for 2030 edges ever closer.
We’re all about diverting waste away from landfill and recycling is one of the best ways to do this. Find inspiration to improve your company’s waste management practices in the new year with these eight recycling resolutions.
1. Give up single-use plastic
Single-use plastic products aren’t recyclable and many end up in landfill. Some single-use plastics were banned in the UK from the start of October 2023, including cutlery, plates, bowls, trays, and balloon sticks. However, many businesses still provide plastic bags and use disposable containers. Make a resolution to remove all single-use plastic from your operations and replace it with recyclable materials.
2. Commit to two recycling audits
Conduct an audit of your current commercial recycling activities early in the new year. This should highlight what types of recyclable waste your business produces, where you already recycle rubbish, and areas for improvement. Use the audit results to introduce new bins if necessary. Carry out recycling audits every six months to ensure your recycling rates are improving and to identify any other opportunities.
3. Set recycling rate goals
Having a defined aim helps your business focus on ways to improve its recycling, track progress, and identify any opportunities. Set goals such as improving your overall recycling efforts by 50%, recycling all paper waste, or ensuring no recyclable rubbish ends up in general waste. Tailor the goals based on your organisation at the start of the year and make time to review them every few months.
4. Use the best bins for your business
From March 2025, all UK businesses will legally need to separate glass, metal, plastic, paper and card (can be combined), and food waste. Get a head start by introducing bins for each recycling stream sooner. Assess how much you produce of each material to determine the best bin sizes to use and how often you need them collected from your site.
5. Switch to sustainable suppliers
Packaging waste is a big problem for many businesses, from cardboard delivery boxes to plastic wrap. Having a policy to only work with suppliers that use recyclable packaging ensures as much of this waste type as possible can be recycled. Review your supply chain and try to move away from any suppliers that don’t align with your sustainability aims.
6. Become a paperless business
Make this the year your company finally ditches paper for good. Many businesses have already gone fully digital and doing so means you’ll create less paper waste. A few ideas to move towards being a paperless organisation are:
- Offer email receipts
- Move catalogues and newsletters online
- Place QR codes on tables instead of menus
- Advertise on social media rather than with leaflets
- Send out pay cheques online
7. Donate old equipment
Don’t throw away equipment and other big items when they break or are upgraded. Donating electrical equipment such as old computers, laptops, and printers is a sustainable form of recycling. Many charities will take them in any condition to use, sell, or repair. Do the same with any furniture or kitchen equipment if you’re having an office refurbishment t prevent them going to landfill.
8. Run regular training sessions
Teaching staff about the importance of recycling to benefit both the environment and your business should improve recycling rates. Create a waste recycling policy and run through what materials go in each bin with all current and new team members. Ensure all recycling bins are clearly labelled and close to the point of production to reduce the risk of contamination.
Achieve your recycling resolutions with Divert
If your business needs a hand getting started with your recycling resolutions in the New Year then at Divert we can help. We provide free bins for businesses to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and food waste – you only pay for collection. Get a free quote today, simply call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online.