In a recent survey of over 1000 UK SMEs, 59% stated that sustainability was ‘very important’ for their business, while a further 27% said that it was ‘important’ or ‘quite important’.
And yet, only 47% of SMEs are actually using a recycling service for their waste management. Why does this disparity exist? Let us take a closer look.
SMEs and recycling
By now, everyone knows about the importance of recycling for the environment. Government laws are recognising it, too, with legislations like Enhanced Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Scheme improving package recyclability and waste disposal techniques.
In November 2021, an alliance of organics recycling associations from countries including the UK, USA, Canada, and Ireland discussed the need to recycle food waste to restore biodiversity and help food security and water conservation.
In addition to end-users, these impact small businesses, and they may need to accelerate their waste management efforts to comply properly.
However, like any other initiative, recycling takes effort. And for small business owners handling multiple tasks day-to-day, it can be hard to prioritise recycling, the more so because it is a non-business activity.
When asked in the survey why they had not gone through with their recycling plans, reasons ranged from not knowing where to start to fears about it being too expensive.
Much of the time, the information on recycling is geared towards end consumers rather than businesses, which means they end up using general waste bins rather than spending time trying to piece things out.
How to improve your recycling process
It is understandable if your business wants to recycle but is not sure where to start – all the information out there can be overwhelming, especially when you are not sure what applies to you as a business.
Despite the increasing awareness about being environmentally conscious, there is a lot of confusion about what someone needs to do. That is why we have talked to the experts and gathered five easy ways to help you improve your recycling today:
1. Have a designated space for recycling
Typically, one associates waste disposal with huge bins at the back of the building. Save your colleagues the walk and bring more visibility to your efforts by having the waste recycling bins within your building in a single designated spot.
2. Start with disposing of one material
You do not necessarily have to go all-in on the recycling from day one. Even if your UK SME starts with just one material, like paper or glass, that is plenty. Identify the material that accumulates most in your general waste bin and start from there.
3. Have separate recycling bins to cut costs
Think recycling is too expensive? It is going to save you money. That is because waste management companies tend to charge for their services based on the weight of your waste, so by separating the different types of waste, your UK SME ends up paying less than if you were to dump everything into one bin.
4. Make it easy for your employees
Time is money, and especially so in an SME. Recycling waste may not be on the priority list for your colleagues – that being said, getting the wrong materials in the wrong bins can lead to all sorts of hassles later on.
Keep things as easy as possible for your team members by placing the different disposal bins close together and clearly indicating which bin is for which type of recycling.
We sell a range of smart lifting solutions through our partnership with Simpro, helping businesses across verticals meet current best practices on recycling and waste minimisation.
The bottom line is the less effort your colleagues need to make, the readier they will be to participate in your recycling initiatives.
5. Get a waste audit
Particularly if you are new to recycling or handle a large volume of waste, it may make sense to call the professionals to assess what kinds of waste you generate and how you can best recycle them. They can also give your UK SME valuable tips on saving time, space and money when organising your recycling efforts.
Over to you
In conclusion, recycling does not have to be complicated, even if you are running a tight ship with your UK SME. Small changes to things like your bin size or location can make a big difference. You just need to know how to implement green changes in your UK SME.
Whether you go your own way or bring in a professional, investing in recycling today will help you participate actively in the circular economy and build a more sustainable future. Are you ready to learn how your UK SME can contribute to a cleaner and greener Earth using specific technologies? Book a consultation with one of our experts today.