Waste isn’t just for Christmas – what your business can do in January
January is here, and your building’s Christmas decorations will either have been taken down and safely put into storage or securely disposed of. If this task has already been taken care of, then you may think that you no longer need to worry about the festive season – for another few months at least! However, with Christmas causing both business and consumers to produce 30% more waste, you should still be concerned with counteracting the effect this waste is having on the environment. Additionally, if your company still has festive waste that needs to be cleared from your premises, then you should now be ensuring that this is done in an eco-friendly way.
Waste ending up in landfill (where it releases greenhouses gases into our atmosphere for many years), is damaging the health of our planet and its inhabitants. it raises the Earth’s temperature, contributing to more and more natural disasters; many of which have a devastating effect. Trees also provide a home for various species, and remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air we breathe.
How businesses can reduce waste from Christmas
According to statistics, a total of 6 million real Christmas trees are said to be discarded every year, and The Carbon Trust estimates that an average 2-metre high tree has a carbon footprint of 16kg of carbon dioxide when it’s sent to landfill. If you favour a real tree, then you should get it recycled. This typically involves shredding the tree, with the chippings being used in local parks and woodland areas.
If you want to clear up some space in your building’s storage by getting rid of your unwanted Christmas decorations, it’s important to know what can and can’t be recycled. Wreaths constructed from natural materials (as long as they’re not covered in an excessive amount of glitter) can be recycled, as well as Christmas tree lights. However, tinsel, and plastic and glass baubles typically can’t be recycled. Instead of throwing these away, donate them to a charity shop.
If you have any plastic, paper and cardboard waste remaining, this should also be reused or recycled. Investing in a waste baler can make this process easier and quicker as it segregates different materials ready to be recycled. A waste baler can even provide your business with an additional revenue stream as segregated recyclable materials can be sold to recycling companies.
To reduce your paper waste this Christmas, send festive marketing communications through email or advertise them online. if possible, you should keep your festive signage from last year and reuse it this year; especially if your promotions and festive colour scheme are likely to be repeated.
What else can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?
Even if your business’s festive decorations and signage have already been taken care of, January is the perfect time to get new procedures in place to ensure you reduce your environmental impact in 2019. You should be educating your employees on the impact of waste and the importance of recycling, and making it easier for them (and any visitors to your building) to do so. This could involve ensuring your building has recycling bins that are clearly sign-posted throughout the premises. These should also be labelled to ensure the right waste materials are placed in each one.
For supermarkets and other retailers, switching to recycled packaging or opting for zero packaging for as many products as possible can also make a big difference to your environmental impact.
For more information on how phs Wastekit can help you reduce your business waste all-year-round and not just at Christmas, call us on 0800 169 3534 or request a free Wastesaving Audit.