31.03.2021 Environment

Win the war on waste

A new free guide helps small businesses recycle and save


Minimising waste is high in most people’s thoughts but putting it into practice is often the hurdle, particularly for small businesses.

Time and money to do the right thing are often in short supply leading to Australian businesses producing an average 850kg of waste per person annually.

Environmental change advocate Planet Ark has highlighted the problem by launching a free War on Waste Toolkit for Business to mark its 2018 Business Recycling campaign.

The guide contains ten tools such as the recycling no-brainer checklist, the set of questions to ask a prospective recycler and new brain science inspired signage. It also suggests recycled options for products such as paper and stationery, enabling office managers and purchasers to help close the loop and build a circular economy.

Planet Ark was inspired to put together the new toolkit after 3.7 million Australians watched the War on Waste in 2017, prompting an unprecedented number of inquiries on recycling and how businesses could do their part.

In compiling the toolkit, a focus has been on finding solutions that are financially beneficial as well as effective, recognising that office waste can be a valuable resource.

It encourages co-workers to get in on the act of reducing waste by suggesting reusable alternatives to single-use items like coffee cups, water bottles and shopping bags.

Another bonus for small businesses is that it’s easy to get started for free. Services like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark and MobileMuster recycle workplace printer cartridges, mobile phones and accessories at no cost, while the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme are also ideal for small businesses on a budget.

Some business waste materials get recycled into things that offices can buy, including pens made from recycled printer cartridges and office paper such as Planet Ark Paper that remains high quality even when made from 100% recycled material. And in truly circular fashion, once used, those pens and paper be recycled again.

Recycling can also work well in workplaces other than an office environment, says Planet Ark. Services like construction and demolition processing mean that tradesmen and builders can both recycle and use products made from recycled materials.

For those businesses with high volume waste materials, there is the Small Scale Recycling Equipment Catalogue, which matches them up with suppliers of equipment including compactors and balers to reduce costs and save time and space.

The new Business Recycling Toolkit also points businesses to Bin Trim, a resource developed by the NSW EPA for businesses which helps them to profile their current waste and recycling habits, and create a work plan to reduce both waste and costs.