Stop wasting time — recycling in retail

Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill is an ever-present challenge facing UK businesses.
FrancisRomeo/24 images,

Estimates suggest that the nation, both commercially and industrially, produces around 40 million tonnes of wastes. Other than abolishing waste production, which for many industries is simply impossible, the alternative is to recycle more goods.

Paper and cardboard were the most recycled materials in 2017, at an impressive 79%. Few industries produce as much cardboard waste as that of the retail industry.

But while paper and cardboard packaging is being heavily recycled by the sector, it is unavoidable in terms of complete eradication. From the initial unpackaging of bulk goods to the final repacking before being shipped to the customer, the amount of potentially recyclable material is almost uncountable.

Therefore, in order to help the UK meet the zero waste to landfill targets, it is imperative that retail business responsibly deal with the significant amounts of waste they produce.

In this article, we take a look at the advantages that recycling retail waste provides businesses and the various ways they can conduct it.

More than just net zero

Obviously, the most important of advantages of recycling retail waste, whether it’s plastic waste or cardboard, is to help drive down the overall waste sent to landfills, but for businesses individually, there are so many other benefits.

Recycling business waste will, inevitably, enhance your business’ reputation, helping attract a wide variety of new customers. Consumers are continuously developing an enhanced sense of environmental responsibility, and so the brands they will invest in will, ideally, replicate these similar views.

Beyond the high street shopper knowing that you don’t just send your cardboard waste to landfill, there also exists an opportunity in terms of business to business relations. Consider that make-or-break pitch — your recycling habits might be that swing point that wins it for you, an essential unique selling point.

Managing waste

Much like the benefits associated with recycling in the retail industry, there are a multitude of ways to ensure that its implantation is a success.

Firstly, investing in a baler is a point of consideration for any retailer who, as previously noted, produces a significant amount of cardboard waste. These can be purchased in various shapes and sizes, depending on output. They create neat bales, reducing the need for large amounts of storage space and, similarly, the number of waste collections required.

Education is particularly important when it comes to reducing and managing waste — how can you expect your employees to follow recycling procedures correctly when they were never informed of them in the first place? Once any recycling campaign has been implemented, it is up to the management team or designated waste management consultant to demonstrate to staff what can and cannot be recycled. Regular email updates can act as a reminder and a motivating tool for staff, noting whether they have achieved recycling goals or not.

Finally, employing a waste management service that helps you, as the business management team, understand the various ways in which the business can handle its waste is crucial.

They will take you through an initial consultation that analyses the waste material your business produces before laying out clear, quantifiable goals. Then, a delivery process will be established, detailing what you as a business need to do in order to achieve your strategy for success.

Here we have looked at the various ways that you can manage your waste as a retailer and the benefits associated with doing so. Now, the only question is, what are you waiting for? Start today and not only boost your business’ reputation but save the environment.


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