A Guide to Zero-Waste
Zero waste is a relatively new lifestyle choice, filled with principles focused on waste prevention and encouragement of recycling. The common goal is for no rubbish to be sent to landfills or incinerators, and for production to be sustainable with reused material. In 2019, 91% of the world’s plastic wasn’t recycled (National Geographic), and the mindset of most is that packaging is disposable rather than something to repurpose.
To minimise the use of disposable packaging, there has been a new stream of local zero waste shops. These are commonly called ‘bring your own container’ stores. All you need is some plastic stacking bins to hand, and you can fill your boxes for yourself with nuts, flour and ingredients for your catering business.
If you’ve been curious about approaching a more sustainable lifestyle, here is a handy guide to zero waste.
Eliminate Disposable Items
Adopting a new lifestyle can be overwhelming, and you don’t need to commit fully all at once! A great place to start is by ridding your business of single-use items, like antibacterial wipes and blue rolls. Reusable alternatives of these staples are readily available with microfiber cloths, and they will be a quick switch to reduce the amount of waste that your premises produce.
Make Sure You Understand Your ‘Why’
As with any lifestyle change, it’s essential that you fully recognise your reasoning behind it. Why are you deciding to pursue a zero-waste lifestyle? If your main aim is to ease environmental stress, then that should be the main factor that you consider with your zero waste choices.
If you’re pursuing a zero-waste lifestyle to preserve and protect the environment, your everyday choices should be as eco-friendly as possible too. If your zero waste food store isn’t nearby and you need to drive to get there, you could consider getting plastic bins and dispensers so that you can store a month’s bulk of shopping at once. Forecast the demand of your customers and prioritise the items that you know are going to be popular. Savvy shopping for supplies means you’ll have to visit the store less often, and you’re using less petrol to support your business!
Still Recycle All Single-Use Plastic
Though plastic is recyclable, the structural integrity of the material is compromised after a few rounds of recycling. This means that recycled plastic still eventually ends up in landfill, so it isn’t an excellent material for anybody considering zero waste. With that being said, recycling single-use plastic is still way better than throwing it into landfill straight away.
With the popularity of the zero waste movement growing, alternatives to single-use plastic are becoming easier to source. Milk bottles, for example, are available as their traditional glass which is much less harmful to the environment! If you’re considering pursuing zero waste for your lifestyle or perhaps for your business, you may invest in milk bottle crates to house your bottles, and to store them for recycling after use!
Consider Starting to Compost
The more self-sufficient that your business premises can be, the better it is for the environment. Composting your food waste turns rubbish into useful material that can help you to eventually grow your own produce too. If you were to start growing your own fruit and vegetables with homemade compost, you wouldn’t need the plastic packaging that comes alongside fresh supermarket produce!
Once you’re finished preparing your homegrown fruit and vegetables, you can compost the leftovers, and your cycle will continue. Nothing is wasted because your ‘waste’ is a compost full of nutrients that helps to keep your garden healthy! Composting is the most eco-friendly version of recycling that the world has to offer, so it’s worth trying.
For further advice on pursuing a zero-waste lifestyle with reusable containers, please feel free to contact us at Onit Direct. We’d be more than happy to help!