Waste

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover

Why?

Reducing our consumption of materials is the first step towards more sustainable practices. As a society we consume in excess and discard without thought. But times are changing. More and more organisations are realising their role in addressing this issue and putting in place measures to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Photo credit: James Lee

How?

Create a sustainability strategy and put it into action. The City of Westminster has a brilliant guide on why and how organisations should implement a sustainability strategy. You can read the full guide here.

Actions include: replacing waste paper bins from underneath individuals desks with a centralised recycling station to incentivise a reduction in personal waste and encourage mindful recycling.

Reducing:

  • single-use plastics
  • virgin materials
  • food waste

Reuse:

  • refillable printer cartridges
  • reuse packaging
  • donate old office furniture to charity

Recycle – as well as supplying recycling bins on site consider purchasing new only if post-consumer recycled goods. These goods have a far smaller carbon footprint.

Recover – send food waste to an anaerobic digester where it will converted to energy and compost.

Support the movement towards a Circular Economy

Why?

Rethinking how our economy works is a critical step in transitioning to a net-zero Devon. Organisations play an important role in the move away from a linear economy. You can learn more about what the circular economy is here.

Resource flow in a circular economy. Diagram from University of Exeter

How?

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides videos, information and guidance on why and how organisations can make circular choices. It offers a massive range of new opportunities for businesses to innovate and inspire with solutions for a better world. Explore what you can do within your organisation here.

Here, Devon Contract Waste are making progress through their circular economy scheme which launched in January 2020. They are inviting businesses to opt in to the scheme in order to reduce the amount of unrecycled waste in the south west. Interested? Find out more.