How To Reduce Plastic Waste In Retail

When operating in retail, several waste streams are derived from the manufacturing, production and distribution processes, and in most cases, these types of waste aren’t dealt with appropriately or in an eco-friendly manner. 

Plastic packaging, plastic bags and plastic hangers are just three examples of the plastic waste that accumulates through retail. One of the main issues behind this is the single-use plastics and unsustainable recycling procedures that get carried out- if any recycling procedure is undergone at all.

In today’s article, we’re going to explore ways in which you can reduce plastic waste in retail, and how you can implement an environmentally-friendly recycling solution into your business. Waste in the retail industry is at an ever-growing rate, but not only does recycling deliver a positive environmental impact, but it can also benefit your brand.

Reusable Hangers

If you work in clothes retail, especially, you will find the accumulation of hangers uncanny, and one of the main issues behind your plastic wastage. Not only do they break, but when rebranding commences, or you are freeing up storage, hangers get thrown away, and if they are non-recyclable, they will inevitably be dumped on a landfill.

With landfills predicted to be full by 2022 in the UK, this will become an even more significant issue. A great way to reduce your businesses hanger waste, especially if you run an independent business, is through to use of recyclable hangers. An example would be chrome hangers, wood-based hangers or cardboard hangers. 

Not only can these be reused if they break, but the chrome and wooden ones are less likely to get damaged as opposed to plastic- saving your business money when re-purchasing less. 

Reusable Packaging

Any type of delivery, no matter the nature of your business, will come in some form of packaging. If this packaging contains plastic bags, plastic tags and Polythene sleeves or wrap, there is a high chance that it cannot be recycled. Unless you’re using a manufacturer who’s conscious of their waste, you will have to handle this waste how you see fit.

Statistically, only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled, and if you’re not implementing reusable plastics into your retail outlet, you’re again adding to the issue of landfills. A solution to reducing plastic packaging would be to use less, and when needed, use recyclable materials instead.

Brown paper sheeting, recycled cardboard box shredding for the protection of goods and cardboard boxes for the package itself would all work as great substitutions for your plastic packaging.

Recyclable Plastic Bags

If you own a shop and you’re offering plastic bags to your customers, this can not only add to potential littering and the plastic waste building up within the sea, but it can still add to your plastic waste stream too. If plastic bags break or you have a rebrand, who has to rid of the waste? You.

By offering paper bags or beginning a bag for life scheme, you will automatically reduce your plastic waste as people are less likely to need bags, and if they do, they’ll be recycled at home. Not only will this save you money, but it will also showcase you as a sustainable brand. In recent years, consumers have become more and more aware of the environmental factors that are the consequence of wasting unethically.

Because of this, environmentally-friendly businesses have become more and more sought after. If you put yourself in this band of brands, you will open your business up to a whole new audience which, in turn, increases your brand’s awareness and potential for conversions. 

What Happens to Plastic Waste When Incorrectly Disposed Of?

Plastic waste usually ends up in landfills, and although this is sometimes seen as a waste solution, their nature is not to dispose of the waste but to store it instead. Eventually, the plastic waste will decompose, but this can also support the production of greenhouse gases which pollute the air and can lead to global warming.

When it comes to plastics, their lightweight nature can also mean that they blow away and end up in rivers, seas and the streets. This, unfortunately, will inevitably cause damage to wildlife and our environment.

How We Can Help

If the plastics that you use are already-recyclable, but you’re unsure as to how best to dispose of them, now is the time to implement a waste solution that has your businesses and the environment’s best interests at heart. Here at Fresco Environmental, we can deliver you with a total waste management system to suit the size and needs of your business.

By assessing your plastic waste stream from the beginning and regularly, we can determine the best process that’ll ensure that all materials are being given the longest possible lifespan. Reduce, reuse, recycle is what we live by.

If you need further guidance or more information on our retail waste management in the North West, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0151 423 9900 or head to our contact page.

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