8 Ways Your Business Can Fight Plastic Pollution this World Environment Day

29 MAY 2023 | by Nicholas Lim
8 Ways Your Business Can Fight Plastic Pollution this World Environment Day

On 5th June every year, the world commemorates World Environment Day to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage both individuals and organisations to take climate action. In 2023, World Environment Day aims to combat plastic pollution*. Plastics have long been an environmental problem to our land, oceans, wildlife, and human health.

On this global day of observance, we would like to encourage all our partners, stakeholders and friends of SEC to take the following steps to reduce their use of plastics.

Discourage the use of single-use plastics among staff
Lunch breaks are a daily social event in the office, and it’s common for teams to dabao their meals back to the office for a communal meal. This can and will lead to an increased use of single-use plastics like straws, utensils and PET bottles. While social gatherings at the workplace is good for morale, you can discourage single-use plastics by providing kitchen utensils in the office pantry, and suggest employees bring their own containers to store their takeaway food. Every little bit helps.

Institute recycling initiatives at the workplace
Start incorporating recycling into your office culture. The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment’s Zero Waste Master Plan has an easy-to-use guide on what can or cannot be recycled. Whether it is waste paper, plastic, or e-waste, recycling these contributes to the circular economy, and encourages sustainable consumption.

Implement metrics of success
Businesses are no strangers to metrics of success, and combating plastic waste should be no different. Start tracking your workplace’s progress, measure your impact, and implement new methods to drive improvements. Make sustainability a company mission, inculcate it as a part of your office culture, and ingrain it in the DNA of your employees.

Organise a company-wide environmental event
Take a break from the office every now and then and organise a company-wide outing, with a focus on environmental action! Do a beach clean-up, collect recyclables, or volunteer at a local NGO. One such option is SEC’s Earth Helper programme, which matches your interests and skills with a variety of volunteer options. Contact us info@sec.org.sg for more.

Invest in new methods of packaging to reduce plastics use and waste
If you are a manufacturing company, look into packaging redesign. Much of today’s product packaging is rife with plastics use, generating a tremendous amount of waste, which only serve to fill our landfills. You can do your part for the environment by redesigning your packaging to use less materials, or contain recyclable materials. Getting certified by SEC’s Eco Manufacturing can also help generate cost savings, and raise your company’s profile among eco-conscious consumers.

Rethink product design
Product redesign is another way to further integrate sustainability principles into your organisation’s DNA. Prioritising recyclable materials, reducing unnecessary components, and designing products for reuse or repair, are all part of the circular economy model. By doing so, you expand the lifespan of your product, and reduce the need for frequent maintenance or replacement. Reducing the waste produced during manufacturing means a more eco-friendly and sustainable business.

Engage and educate your customers
As a business or organisation, your platform and channels are powerful tools to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Utilise them to educate customers on the environmental impact of plastic, share your company’s initiatives, build trust, and influence climate action among the community. You can also partner with environmental organisations like SEC to further amplify your message.

Donate to organisations doing research on plastics pollution
There are many research studies being performed on plastic waste, and your organisation can play a big part in helping push them forward. For example, as part of the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards, SEC will be looking into the future of plastic package waste and recycling, by engaging suppliers to improve material circularity. Such endeavours are worthy of your support, either through partnerships or donations.

These are just some of the ways your business can fight plastics pollution and work for the benefit of the environment. Beyond that, there are many methods to reduce your business’ carbon footprint, such as Eco Certifications, Eco Labels, and staff training. SEC is proud to be at the forefront of guiding businesses on their sustainability journeys. Contact us at info@sec.org.sg to learn more.

If you have other suggestions on how we can combat plastic pollution, or something your workplace is already doing, please share it and tag us on social media.

*Join us at the SEC’s Conference Day, held in conjunction with the 24th Singapore Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards (SEAA) on 17 August, as we tackle the plastic problem. The conference will focus on our 2023 research on Plastic Packaging for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods. More information about the SEAA here.