Plastic Free July: How to get your workplace or a local business to go plastic-free

Once we’ve established strong sustainable practices, we can make an even bigger difference by sharing these with others. From workplaces to local cafes, gyms and shops, there are many opportunities to encourage local businesses to move away from single-use plastic. 

Getting businesses to adopt sustainable practices has a positive impact on the environment and can support you in making more sustainable choices when visiting these places. Businesses account for a large proportion of waste that is created, with UK businesses generating 41.1 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste a year, and the estimated to go as high as 7.6 billion tons of industrial waste produced every year.

To wrap up Plastic-Free July, and help you help others make an even bigger change, here are  a few quick tips to encourage a business to go plastic-free:


Some businesses may be hesitant to make change because they immediately jump to the conclusion that it may be too time or cost-intensive, when in fact there are some amazing advantages to going plastic-free and recycling. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, businesses can also:

  • Save money i.e. when you go paperless you cut down on the cost of printing.
  • Increase sales: 90% of consumers surveyed by TerraCycle were willing to pay more for a product that offered a recycling solution.
  • Staff morale: Prospective and current employees are increasingly concerned about sustainability and want a workplace that adheres to their values. 
  • Boost reputation: 88% of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly.
  • Meet Environmental Social Governance targets: Going plastic-free can also support a business in meeting its wider sustainability targets.


The move to going plastic-free is not an easy process and takes time. That’s why it’s good to first encourage businesses to take a look at their plastic usage and take small steps to cut down on waste.

Here are a few thought starters:

  • Purchase digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines
  • Encourage your staff and colleagues to use reusable containers for their lunch and snacks.
  • Ensure everyone has access to office KeepCups for the daily coffee run.
  • Install hand dryers in the bathrooms rather than paper towels.
  • Share documents electronically instead of printing materials.
  • Transition away from unnecessary single-use plastics used in your business


Quick fixes to minimising office waste

  1. Conduct a waste audit to analyse all of the waste streams within your workplace – writing instruments, paper, ink cartridges, dish soap etc. Here’s a useful resource for conducting a waste audit at work.
  2. Set up a recycling station or hub for anything that can be recycled. You’ll need to provide different boxes or receptacles for the different waste streams including ones for kerb side recyclables and general waste. If you use TerraCycle’s free programs, you can also recycle anything from coffee pods, dish and air care products so encourage employees to bring in their waste from homes such as hair care and dental care products and packaging.
  3. Recycle more waste through a Zero Waste Box office (ZWB); there is a solution for almost every waste you can imagine. For example, with the ongoing need for PPE, our Safety Equipment and Protective Gear ZWB accept disposable face masks and gloves.

6 thoughts

  1. Hi Terra cycle team!
    Do you have a waste program for blister foils from medications? Some are with plastic the bubble holding the tablet and some are plain foil?
    Would be highly interested as I’m a pharmacy owner.


  2. Hi Terracycle Team,
    I want to thank you as for a long time I asked about recycling razors and you now do this. I agree with comment above about the blister foils from medication. What about elastic/rubber bands? So many are used in supermarkets. I think this is worth looking into. Thanks


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