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How To Reduce Plastic Waste At Work

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Whether your workplace is a factory, office or retail building, it is extremely likely that you will be generating a lot of plastic waste. Did you know that British companies have shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong since 2012? As a large retailer of plastic packaging products, we are more than aware of the big environmental issue that plastic waste causes and want to use our voice to encourage manufacturers and individuals to dispose of plastic waste responsibly. In this short guide, we’ll explore the best ways to reduce plastic waste in the workplace. Office managers and CEO’s – listen up!

Find Out Where The Most Waste Is Originating 

In order to address the problem, you’ll need to identify the source! If you work in an office, chances are that your main source of plastic waste will be from food and drink packaging that employees have brought in for lunch. If 20 people are getting a meal deal every day, the amount of sandwich containers and plastic bottles can soon add up! However, sometimes the plastic waste that your company generates goes unseen. If you are a mass retailer that uses plastic packaging, then you won’t be the ones left to dispose of it. Even though it technically isn’t your problem any longer, you have still contributed towards the plastic waste. Plastic waste can also be a by-product of production processes in factories. Once you’ve identified the specific area in which you are generating the most waste, you can start to brainstorm solutions.

Organise Your Recycling Bins

One of the first things that you can do within your company is too make sure that you have an easy way for your employees to recycle their plastic. Instead of having a number of general waste bins dotted around your office, why not have a designated recycling station? This only has to consist of a maximum of 5 different bins: cardboard/paper waste, glass waste, plastic waste, food waste and general waste. By encouraging staff to make the effort by making it easy for them to comply, you will be making a big difference without making a big deal out of it!

recycling bins

Evaluate Your Packaging Materials

If you’re a producer of consumer goods, then it’s a great idea to see if there are any changes that you can make to the materials you use to create or package your items. Plastic drink bottles are a big contributor to plastic waste worldwide, yet it is difficult to see how this product can be made more eco-friendly without losing the clear benefits that plastic offers. But there are sustainable alternatives! Here at Ampulla, we have a small range of PLA Plastic Drink Bottles that are biodegradable! PLA Plastic is made using 100% plant material that can be broken down using industrial composters in around 6 months, thanks to the heat exposure that a huge amount of composting material gives you. However, the biodegradability of these bottles does not impact on their quality! They have the same look and feel as normal plastic bottles, with the only difference being that you cannot leave them in direct sunlight, as the plastic may begin to soften and lose it’s shape. If PLA isn’t for you, then you also have the option to switch to aluminium cans, which are more easily recycled or even glass bottles.

Other Handy Tips To Reduce Plastic Waste At Work

  • Request that your suppliers use less plastic;
  • Swap disposable plastic water cups for paper ones;
  • Encourage your staff to bring in their own reusable water bottles;
  • Remove any plastic cutlery from communal kitchens and replace with stainless steel;
  • Replace plastic bags with paper or compostable bags for customers.

These are just a few of the small ideas that can help you improve the carbon footprint of your business and show your customers that you’re making positive steps to become more sustainable.

If you’ve found our ideas on how to reduce plastic waste at work useful, then we think that you’d also enjoy our guide to identifying plastic recycling codes.

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Types Of Recyclable Plastic & Identifying Plastic Codes

Types Of Recyclable Plastic

We all know that plastic is notoriously not recycled enough in the UK, with only 44.9% of plastic waste being recovered or recycled in 2016. But why are we not recycling all of our plastic packaging? After all, it’s never been easier to recycle your home and business waste! You can request recycling bins from your local council and there are also plenty of recycling centres around the country that collect the things that your council will not. There is no excuse to send your recyclable waste to landfill! The confusion often lies in the sheer amount of different types of recyclable plastic. How are you supposed to know if your packaging is recyclable or not?

All packaging labels should indicate whether or not the plastic packaging is recyclable or not, which is usually signified by a number.

Plastic Codes

There are 7 codes of plastic that you need to look out for when disposing of your packaging.

1 – PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Used for single use, clear plastic drinks bottles, fruit containers, ready meal food trays and polyester textile fibres.

2 – HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Used for milk bottles, shampoo bottles, margarine tubs and household cleaning bottles.

3 – V (Vinyl) or PVC
Used for shower curtains, children’s toys, detergent bottles and medical equipment.

4 – LDPE (low density polyethylene)
Used for carrier bags and squeezy bottles.

5 – PP (polypropylene)
Used for food pots, bottle tops, yogurt pots and sauce bottles.

5 – PS (polystyrene)
Used for meat packaging trays and egg cartons.

7 – O (other)
This category refers to all other plastics that are not listed above.

types of recyclable plastic codes

Types Of Recyclable Plastic

So which of the plastic codes above can be put into your recycling system? PET and HDPE plastics are by far the most commonly used in the UK, and they are both fully recyclable. At least 92% of local councils collect PET and HDPE bottles, but some areas do not collect certain forms of PET and HDPE  (such as food trays and tubs) due to issues with sorting, so it’s best to check online with your local council to confirm this. PVC is not collected by councils, so you must dispose of this material independently. Some plastic lumber makers accept PVC, so it’s a great idea to find one nearby if you are going to be regularly using this material. Usage of PVC packaging is generally declining due to it’s non-recyclability.

LDPE carrier bags are now often collected by supermarkets for recycling, but it is generally not accepted through local council bin collections. Some recycling centres do accept it, if they have mixed plastic recycling facilities. The same applies for PP and polystyrene plastics. Plastics that fit into code 7 consist of a variety of different plastic structures. You will need to check which plastic you have (this may be indicated on the brand label) in order to know what you can do to dispose of it responsibly. Some code 7 plastics, such as PLA, are even compostable!

Here at Ampulla, we have a wide range of plastic packaging products available for individuals and both small and large businesses to use. With no minimum order and discounts on the price per unit when you buy in larger quantities, you can be sure that you’re getting the best value! Take a look at our full range of plastic packaging, including jerry cans, bottles and tubs here.

To Find Out More

We hope that you’ve found this short guide to types of recyclable plastic and plastic codes useful and that you will stop and think before throwing your plastic waste away! If you want to learn more about this subject, then we’ve found that Recycle Now is a great resource for finding out all the information you need about recycling in your area. They have tools to help you find your nearest recycling centre and advice on how to dispose of specific items such as electricals and textiles.

If you liked this post about types of recyclable plastic, then we think that you’d also like to hear about our new PCR10 products.

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What’s New For Ampulla In 2019?

new year plans ampulla packaging

We would like to say Happy New Year to all our customers and wish you all the very best for 2019. Here at Ampulla, we have big plans ahead for this year that will make ordering from us much easier and we can get your products to you more quickly than last year!

So what exactly do we have planned for Ampulla in 2019?

Faster Dispatch Times

In 2018, we invested around £500,000 into a new warehouse building. This has allowed us to store more products than ever, which in turn means less time waiting for new stock to arrive and faster dispatch times for our customers! We always appreciate feedback on our service (good or bad) so that we can continually improve on the service that we are providing, as we know that what we do can directly affect your own business. To prove our commitment to this, we collect reviews from our customers via our Trustpilot page, which gives us the chance to get feedback directly from you and respond to your queries quickly. If you’ve got any comments for us, don’t be shy about leaving us a review!

More Environmentally Friendly Packaging Options

We are pleased to now be stocking products made from PCR materials (post consumer recycled). PCR products have been made using recycled material in part, so you can be sure that every product on Ampulla described as being ‘PCR’ is made up of at least 10% recycled material. This new initiative from our manufacturers is a big step into reducing plastic waste and the negative impact that it is having on our environment. We are proud that we will continue to add new product lines that are made using PCR material throughout the year to offer more choice to our customers and to do our bit for Planet Earth.

But what are the advantages of using PCR products in your business? As well as encouraging responsible plastic manufacturing, PCR also reduces your own businesses carbon footprint without losing the many functional benefits that plastic offers.

More Low Prices!

We always want to give our customers the best value for their packaging, which is why we already offer tiered pricing on all our items, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best price for the amount of items that you are ordering. We can always do better though, so in 2019 look out for more prices dropping! Make sure to check out our winter sale (now on), as we’ve lowered prices on a selection of our popular products, including jam jars, sirop bottles and dropper bottles. As well as this, you can also save 5% on any order placed before or on the 4th January! Just enter the code TRLWR6100 at the checkout to apply the discount.

We hope that you will continue to do business with Ampulla in 2019.