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Earth Day and Cobalt

Blog Posts  (28)

Article posted by Sara Burton on Apr 22, 2024

Today is Earth Day, an opportunity to consider the environment, the impact we have on it, and the steps we can take to reduce or repair this impact. The focus for this year is Planet vs Plastics, a campaign to reduce plastic production by 2040, phase out single-use plastics, and to promote the UN Global Plastic Treaty on Plastic Pollution aiming to set a global target for all states to cut plastic pollution.

There is no doubt that we are more aware of the extent we use plastic in our day-to-day lives. But hearing from The Big Plastic Countwhich estimates that UK households throw away 1.7bn pieces of plastic packaging every week is a real eye-opener. This puts the UK second only to the US in plastic waste per person.

As a business services company, it’s easy to dismiss this as not relevant to us – we don’t manufacture anything plastic, we don’t have a product wrapped in plastic nor have a supply chain heavily reliant on it – but instead we acknowledge our part in it and we find opportunities to reduce the plastic we do use. 

We’ve been removing plastic from our workplace over the last 18 months. Some easy successes are to offer plastic-free period products from TOTM and to switch to WGAC toilet paper, where rolls are individually wrapped in paper, not plastic.

Recognising that disposable biro pens contribute to the plastic pollution, our latest switch has been to these Agile pens below, plastic-free yet durable, and very nice to write with! Once finished, they can be dismantled and recycled or composted.

We’ve got other sources of plastic in our sights as well – looking at our cleaning products (by engaging with our cleaning company) and tackling the plastic-wrapped fruit that arrives with our supermarket delivery (but purchasing the fruit individually costs disproportionately more!) – are next on our list.

Where we cannot yet avoid plastic, we ensure we recycle it. We have good recycling options in our office for plastic waste, with clearly labelled bins and training for staff on what can/can’t be recycled (Our top tip here is to have fewer bins and a dedicated recycling hub, to make sure more is recycled!). In addition to the standard recycling services, we’ve set up a collection point for soft plastics such as sweet wrappers, crisp packets and bread wrappers which we then personally take to the local supermarket for recycling.

Finally, we recognise the value of engaging with governments around the world to sign a commitment to reduce plastic production and have encouraged staff to find time today to ask their MPs to sign a pledge for a strong Global Plastics Treaty.

Although we are giving the earth extra consideration today, Cobalt is committed to taking action every day, reducing our impact on it.

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