David Webley
Alex Barrow
Mark Carter
Sam Beeny
Chelsea McDonald
Office Manager
Emily Webley
Operations Director
Emily Hatty
Marketing Analyst

The War on Plastic Bags and How Your Company Can Help

12-March-2018 23:42
in Learning & Development
by Alex Barrow

With the rapid expansion of media, the internet age and the broad reach of accessibility in this day and age, the social awareness in today’s society far exceeds that of generations before. This reaches right across politics, humanity, the environment and so much more. So how is it affecting our everyday habits and choices, and how can we support positive awareness in an office environment?

One particular pain point for many countries across the globe is the extreme amount of unnecessary, non-recyclable plastic waste that goes into our landfills and waterways every day. This toxic, often irreversible cycle of pollution is having a wider impact on our natural environment and is clearly an unsustainable way of living. Single use plastic items, such as straws, coffee cups, cutlery and, most notably, plastic bags, are the main culprits, often taking between 10-1000 years to decompose, despite their simple, single-use purpose.

The tangible issue with plastic bags is their destructive effect on marine life and land based wildlife. As plastic bags often get lost in our waterways and blown away and littered across land, unsuspecting wildlife can easily consume or become trapped in them, killing or seriously harming them.

Many countries and states are banning single use plastic bags, such as those provided at supermarket checkouts, or are providing them at a cost to discourage people from using them. In Australia, the ACT state have banned single use plastic bags for over six years, and other Australian states are following suit.

So how can you promote positive environmental awareness in your business? Depending on the size and nature of your business, different tools and tricks can be effective with your colleagues:

  1. Incentives: Encouraging awareness and action through incentives are often the push that people need to make a change in their habits. Either a small team prize or other form of motivation is a great start. It’s easy to drop off the band wagon when it comes to changing habits, but with an incentive in sight, your team members are likely to make an effort to make a change, and may even go above and beyond in other ways.


  1. Education: We’ve all heard the spiel about plastic bags and the environment, and have almost become desensitised to it. The key to changing this cycle is to invest in proper education. It could be as simple as hosting a team lunch meeting and inviting an appropriate representative to do a guest presentation. Often a lack of understanding or education is a key factor in refusing to stop, or at least minimise the use of non-recyclable products.


  1. Lead by Example: Remove all plastic bags from the office and create a ‘no plastic bag’ policy. Set up easy to use recycling stations and encourage your employees to use them and understand what is and isn’t recyclable.

In today’s day and age, there is a call for not only individuals to be more socially and environmentally aware, but for businesses to step up and take a stand on important issues. While these may be abstract to the purpose of your business, it is becoming increasingly important to consumers to factor in the ethics and awareness of the companies they’re buying from or dealing with. Taking this into consideration will positively impact your business reputation and your collective environmental footprint.

For more advice on developing your business, contact Granite Consulting for more information.