Plastic Pollution Solutions: Working 9 to 5

We’ve already discussed how to end our plastic reliance in the home and in your children’s lives. Considering we spend a third of our lives at the office, it can be a significant investment to address plastic in the office culture as well. From cutlery to phones, plastic has integrated itself into every facet of our daily routine.

Regardless if you are an entry level employee or a CEO, there are ways to reduce the amount of plastic in your office and encourage more sustainable habits with your coworkers.

  • Brand the bottle. Company-branded water bottles and thermoses are a great way to show your business’s dedication to environmental issues as well as provide an easy alternative to the million bottles used globally each minute! Combined with a tap water filter or cooler, employees have access to unlimited, free water.
  • Fix-it wizard. Rather than splurging on new electronics each year, see if there are ways to elongate the life of a computer or printer with your local handyman (or even an online video tutorial). A new battery or cord can cost a lot less than a new device!
  • Meal prep. A couple hours on a Sunday can do wonders for your budget and the environment. Check out our blog on plastic-free lunch ideas to avoid the cling-wrapped sandwich from the deli downstairs.
  • Purchase sustainably. Think of your work supply closet, full of staplers, pens, and hole punchers. Working with your office manager, see if there are ways to consolidate purchasing across departments or over time. Choosing to purchase items in bulk to reduce packaging can also mean avoiding duplicates of plastic products, which will save the company money.
  • Start a green team. Chances are, you have coworkers who are also interested in environmental issues. Bring these folks together to tackle company-wide challenges, whether that is starting a recycling program or organizing a litter cleanup in the local community.
  • Coffee mug libraries. It’s no secret the amount of caffeine we consume. Rather than going through millions of disposable (and non-recyclable) coffee cups each year, collect mugs from your coworkers or the local secondhand shop and place them in the kitchen for reuse.

The Center for EcoTechnology administers RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts, which provides free assistance to businesses and institutions throughout the state to implement or improve recycling programs. To get started, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at info@recyclingworksma.com.

Do you have more ideas on ways to reduce plastic in your life? Let us know in the comments!

One comment


  • Forget straws. We need to ban “frustration free” plastic packaging. That stuff has got to be from the devil.

    April 20, 2019

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