Thanks to documentaries such as the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 and numerous global media campaigns, people in homes across the UK are becoming more focused on the importance of recycling. But sadly, the same can’t be said regarding businesses in the UK.

Businesses often don’t have time to think about outlining and implementing a ‘green policy’ or making sure they’re doing what they can to reduce their impact on the planet.

The truth is, taking steps towards becoming a more environmentally conscious business can be quick, it can reduce your business costs, it can boost company moral, and it could even improve perception of your brand.

Here are some reasons why you should create a recycling policy or update your existing one.

We’ll talk about why recycling is so important, how it can benefit your business, and which steps you can take to create your own recycling policy today. 

Why recycle?

We all know that recycling can help to reduce the impact we are having on the environment, but the benefits extend much further than this. It can also help your business to reduce costs and boost team spirit in the following ways:

  • Recycling helps protect the environment. When we recycle, we’re reducing the huge quantity of waste that usually ends up in landfill. This means that fewer raw materials are needed to create new products so helps protect the earth’s natural resources and reduces carbon emissions.

  • Recycling helps improve your business’ reputation. Having a current recycling policy demonstrates that your business is forward-thinking and that you have an environmental conscience. Customers and clients, staff and investors will have greater faith in your business as a result.

  • Recycling boosts company morale. Recycling will allow your employees to feel that they’re part of a company-wide initiative to address climate change. They’ll understand that their actions can make a difference and might even feel inspired to recycle more at home.

  • Recycling can save money. When compared with normal business waste disposal schemes, recycling can often save money. The benefits increase even more if your company also becomes more eco-friendly and finds reusable items to use instead of opting for single use.

How to set up or improve your recycling policy

Creating a recycling policy or bringing yours up to date can be much quicker and easier than you might think. With careful consideration, you can soon have a green policy that has a positive impact on the planet and helps reduce climate change. Here’s how you can get started.

1. Review your existing recycling policy

If you have an existing recycling policy written down, it’s a good idea to read it through and consider if it could be improved.

Is this policy still actioned? Are there recycling bins on the premises? Do your employees know how to recycle effectively? How could you update your recycling policy to reflect the current understanding of climate change?

2. Update your policy

Next brainstorm ways you could boost recycling within your company.

Ask management, staff and, if relevant, customers for suggestions on how you can make your recycling policy have the best possible impact on the planet.

Once you’d decided on what to include in your policy, it’s useful to create a semi-official document for your company to use as reference when needed.

3. Share!

Make sure that you then share your recycling policy with your staff. Create posters, send emails and display the recycling policy somewhere nice and visible if you can. Make sure everyone knows the rules of recycling such as where to put each type of waste, including the cleaning staff.

Don’t be afraid to share this information on your website, on your social media platforms and in company newsletters. The more people who know, the more positive the outcome.

4. Place recycling facilities around your premises

Make it easier for your staff to action the policy and recycle by placing bins in strategic locations around your premises.

Wherever there used to be a regular wastepaper basket, replace it with a paper or cardboard recycling bin. Where staff eat, make sure there are recycling bins available for plastic, metal and paper recycling.

It’s also worth using a recycling tool such as a cardboard baler. These are an incredibly useful resource to have onsite as they do all the flat packing for you, they don’t take up much space and they’re highly cost-effective

5. Reduce waste

In addition to implementing a recycling policy, it’s also useful to consider other ways your business can reduce its environmental impact and go ‘green’.

Great strategies include switching from single-use items like plastic cups to reusable water, mugs, crockery and cutlery, going paper-free and offering staff branded reusable bags to use instead of plastic.

5. Create an incentive scheme

Reward staff for their recycling efforts by creating an incentive scheme which awards ‘green’ prizes for the department who recycles the most.

Creating a recycling policy for your business or updating the one you already have is easier than you think and will pay off hugely.

Follow the tips we’ve shared here and talk to staff, get something on paper, place bins and other recycling tools on your premises and aim to reduce your overall waste and you too can have a positive impact on the health of our planet.