Five essential tips for businesses to slash their plastic waste

Make your mark this Earth Day (22 April 2024) and lead your business towards a greener future.

Since 1970, Earth Day has rallied nations and sparked global action for our environment. This year’s theme, ‘Planet vs Plastic,’ is an urgent cry to axe single-use plastics. Every piece of plastic waste, even minuscule microplastics, threatens our ecosystems, wildlife and health.

Are you ready to help the UK reach its ambitious goal of zero plastic waste by 2042? This Earth Day, get started with these five actionable steps to cut down your plastic footprint and lead your business towards a single-use plastic-free future:

1. Transition to sustainable alternatives

Begin with an audit of your inventory to identify single-use plastics, from menu items to packaging, and replace them with eco-friendly alternatives where possible, such as steel utensils, ceramic dishes and biodegradable options. Opting for reusable goods cuts down on plastic waste and when single-use items are a must, biodegradable choices do less environmental damage (if disposed of correctly). You can also encourage customers to use reusable bags, cups or containers by offering discounts or loyalty points.

2. Rethink packaging

Shift your packaging from plastic to eco-friendly, biodegradable materials like paper, whenever possible. Consider offering products in bulk to reduce individual packaging. Focus on curating a selection of sustainable, minimally packaged or fully recyclable items to demonstrate your commitment to customer care. It’s also important to work with suppliers who are just as committed to sustainable practices and decreasing plastic usage.

3. Create an eco-driven ethos

Utilise your waste management provider for educating and training employees on minimising plastic waste. Implement and uphold a firm policy to control plastic waste and encourage an eco-conscious culture by inviting employees to propose their own waste-reduction strategies. Additionally, you can look to join local or industry sustainability initiatives to benefit from potential government incentives like grants or tax breaks designed to support eco-friendly business practices

4. Leverage technology

To reduce the need for plastic-laden items like CDs, plastic packaging and promotional materials, transition to digital alternatives whenever possible, such as digital receipts and online manuals. Alongside the environmental benefits, it can lead to cost savings for businesses by cutting down on manufacturing and materials costs. For consumers, it streamlines access to information and services, making the process quicker and more convenient.

5. Prioritise prevention

Environmental charity ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ has introduced an improved waste hierarchy emphasising waste prevention and mindful consumption. Despite misconceptions, recycling is a third priority, after reducing and reusing waste. Working with a trusted waste management company, like Grundon, will help you find innovative ways to manage the waste your operations produce. Bespoke engagement training will guide your business in reducing plastic waste and reusing materials more effectively, ultimately leading to cost savings and environmental benefits.

While striving for a life free of single-use plastic is an admirable goal, we recognise at Grundon that it may not always be achievable. Nonetheless, even small changes can have a significant impact. However, if your business does produce plastic waste, contact our team today to find out how we can help you better dispose of it.

To join the fight against plastic pollution this Earth Day and beyond, visit