As we move through Organic September, businesses across Westminster are busy implementing processes to reduce their food waste and recycle any food that is left over. But there are also plenty of other items which can be recycled.
Now is as good a time as any to act on this, as we are rapidly approaching Recycle Week. This is an initiative of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which aims to promote best recycling practices and provide information about the benefits of doing so.
Over the past couple of decades there has certainly been a drastic improvement in the recycling habits of consumers and businesses alike, but there is always more that can be done to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place and to manage the rest better.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Recycle Week and how your business can play its part.
When is Recycle Week 2021?
This year is the eighteenth annual Recycle Week, which runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th September 2021, with the theme being “Step It Up This Recycle Week”.
The timeliness of this topic is no accident, as climate change continues to cause global disruption in the form of wildfires and floods. Fortunately, there are actions we can all take to combat these worrying issues.
Correctly recycling and reducing your waste goes a long way towards counteracting the CO2 emissions created by producing new materials and the waste management system. Carbon emissions contribute to climate change and the extreme weather patterns we are facing at the moment.
This is precisely why “Step It Up” has been chosen as the theme for this year’s Recycle Week. The issues and damage done by climate change have increased worldwide so we need to respond to that by stepping up ourselves.
Numerous companies are already backing the initiative, with Amazon, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and lots of other global and UK brands donating time and money to the cause, alongside the main sponsor, Defra.
Following their examples, there are certain steps that your business can take in-house to improve your recycling activities and get involved with what WRAP is trying to achieve.
Reducing the amount of waste is the best way to “step it up”
One of the most effective ways to step up your business’ recycling efforts is actually by creating less waste in the first place. Reducing the amount of materials that need to be disposed of is far more beneficial than creating waste and recycling it.
Consuming less within your company will directly impact the amount of products that have to be made and transported, as well as the amount of energy and resources that will be required to recycle this waste afterwards. From single-use items to the packaging used in the supply chain, there are lots of areas where you can reduce the amount of materials required, but one of the easiest places to start is with food waste.
Food service and hospitality sector companies (like hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes) in particular can benefit from reducing their waste. According to WRAP, of the food thrown out within these sectors, 21% of their waste comes from food spoilage, 45% from food preparation and 34% from uneaten food. Food waste and wastage is a major source of carbon emissions which are created by the food production system.
Just by reducing the amount of food waste created and then keeping food waste separate, your business can have a huge impact. There is also money to be saved through decreasing the amount of products that need ordering and by creating more streamlined and ethical services.
Recycling the correct items and recycling more frequently
Once you have reduced the waste output of your business where possible, the next step is to correctly manage whatever waste you still create. There are two main aspects to this: one is ensuring the right kinds of materials are segregated to be recycled, and another is doing this more often.
Knowing what can and can’t be recycled is crucial, as contaminating your recycling with non-recyclable items means that nothing from that particular collection can be recycled. For example, things like glass or paper and cardboard should be separated from other materials and should be clean and dry when thrown into your recycling bin.
At Westminster we also offer specialist recycling services for items such as coffee cups and appliances, as well as secure shredding for confidential documents like bank statements and private contracts.
If you want to find out more about what waste goes where, make sure to download our free guide so you can improve the recycling practices of your business.
Recycling your business waste with Westminster’s Commercial Waste Services
Initiatives like Recycle Week certainly seem to be playing a big role in the nation’s recycling habits. A full 92% of people who saw information about last year’s Recycle Week claimed to have found it motivating, and 89% of those actually changed their recycling behaviours as a result.
Using a decent and transparent commercial waste provider ensures that your waste is recycled in the most efficient and ethical manner. At Commercial Waste Services, we provide specialist waste and recycling collections for various types of materials and use the most efficient and up-to-date methods to manage that waste.
For example, all plastic milk bottles we collect from local businesses are repurposed at a plant in Dagenham to produce HDPE pellets for creating new bottles and yoghurt pots. Similarly, we take paper and cardboard waste from the Westminster area to a facility in Kent, where it is turned into new packaging material and is back on shelves within just 14 days, ensuring a complete closed-loop recycling solution.
Finally, recycling correctly and frequently not only reduces your business’ environmental impact, it also reduces your waste management costs. This should be more than enough reason to “step it up” this Recycle Week and build better and more sustainable habits for the future.