Unless you have started with sustainability and eco-friendly values in mind, then often your business will have some or a lot of wastage. Until it becomes a mission or a regulation, businesses often produce high volumes of waste regularly. It doesn’t matter if you have just come to the conclusion that you produce too much waste or that you are aware of environmental factors that you weren’t previously – there is plenty that you can do to reduce your small business waste. 

Photo by tanvi sharma on Unsplash


Do you know how much waste you are producing? When was the last time you took a tally of the output? For many businesses, the answer to that – is that they have never measured the output. You likely have a rough idea based on seeing the garbage bins going out – but there are more than just those types of waste. Start to pay attention to how much you are producing so that your strategy to reduce can also be measured for success. 


Businesses that have vending machines on-site with plastic bottles or have cafes with plastic bottles can make a dramatic reduction pretty quickly. Your staff aren’t going to dehydrate so long as you either provide glasses that can be cleaned or a small allowance for them to buy a reusable bottle – or better yet, get some branded reusable bottles


What type of bins do you have set up in the office (or other) space? If it is a single point where people put all of their rubbish, then you’re going to have to rethink that strategy. Instead, purchase three or four bins, and have them labelled. Plastics, papers, food and others. The food bins have a lid on them but will need to be regularly cleaned. 

Check to see if there are any farms in the local area that would accept the food waste for either their pigs or compost. 


Many small businesses are still using a lot of paper, and on that paper is data that should be made digital and destroyed. There are also miscellaneous items like thumb drives, CDs and floppy discs. All of these items can be taken care of by an e waste recycling specialist and recycled or stored. 


Did you know that Pepsi-Cola was able to save $44 million just by switching to a different package model? They implement corrugated cardboard and reusable plastic containers. Not only was that great for their profits, but it was an eco-friendly decision too. 

Take a look at any packaging you either accept from suppliers or packaging that you ship out and see if there are some changes that can be made there. 

Running a successful waste reduction project in your business means you’ll need to communicate with everyone involved, perhaps offer training, and reach out to suppliers too – to see if there are any areas that they can help to.

Switching from paper and printing to a cloud-based approach is a great way to further your efforts, but there are a few more benefits: The importance of using the cloud to run your business

Check out my other business related posts.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 1st May 2024

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