Recycling is great, we agree! But not having to recycle is even better! Indeed, recycling allows to revalorize some materials and even if it is 100% possible and infinite as for glass for example, it is never environmentally neutral. For glass, it must be collected, sorted, crushed, melted at 1400°C, blown and transported again! It is therefore much more relevant to reduce your waste!
The waste reduction approach implemented
At Greenfox, we wanted to reduce this waste production before even thinking about recycling. Through this article, I would like to explain our approach, our successes and failures, so that you too can reduce the waste generated by your company to the maximum.
The amount of waste generated each lunchtime is what impressed me the most! Imagine, each Fox goes out to buy his food in the neighborhood: that represents 20 paper bags, 20 cardboard/plastic containers, as many napkins, plastic cutlery, etc. The first action taken was to reduce the amount of waste produced at lunchtime. For that, I made for each Fox a tote bag at Bagart (French manufacture in organic cotton). So the Foxes can take them every lunchtime to go and get their food. No more bags thrown away every day!
How did it work out?
The previous paragraph explains the theory. In practice, a good half of the Foxes use their tote bag at lunchtime, but many have taken it home for another use. Because it’s true, it’s very beautiful! (Thanks Alexia and Adrien, Foxy’s dad). If we think globally, it is not a problem because even used at another time of the day, the tote bag keeps its environmental benefits.
To go further, I experimented with other motivated pilot Foxes. A first idea was to bring our own containers when we went to buy our food at lunch. The result was mixed. Although some merchants were happy with the initiative, many refused to serve us in our containers. Another problem is that no container is suitable for all merchants. (soups, wok, bim bim bap, pizza, etc.). This idea was therefore abandoned for the moment.
Another option initially considered but not implemented due to lack of time. It was to have a dish delivered directly by a shopkeeper for the whole team in his pot, and this every week. Thus, the lunch would have been 100% zero waste!
We have also given up on individual water bottles in favor of bottles that are refilled by our supplier. Same thing for the aluminum coffee capsules! We preferred coffee beans, but that’s another story!
Even if the Foxes don’t all use their Tote bag every day and that they use disposable containers at lunchtime, I could observe a real awareness on their part. Indeed, I notice that they throw away less easily and that some reflexions start to succeed: it’s a bit like if I had planted a seed! You too, make your colleagues aware and plant this seed in the head of each of them.