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Ask any business what they think they could improve on and what is going to impact their future business reputation, and it’s likely that they’ll say, sustainability.

From attracting and retaining the best staff, to boosting your brand image to a market of consumers who are more in tune with the environment, sustainability and recycling are now more important than ever in achieving your business goals.


There’s a simple starting point in making recycling a staple of your company culture, and it relates to implementing an effective office recycling scheme. That said, it’s not always easy to know what to recycle and how, which is why we’ve created this guide to make it simple for you to implement.

When it comes to office recycling, you probably know what the usual suspects are. Many of them, however, still end up in general waste which is precisely what you don’t want!

Let’s break down the main waste elements you will find within your office and how you can recycle them effectively…

Paper and card

A lot of businesses argue that most of their work is of a digital nature. We’re not here to argue that as it’s very much a fact in our technology-led era. However, the UK remains one of the largest paper consumers in the world with use amounting to around 12.5 tonnes a year. It seems we’re not quite as digital as we thought!

Paper is 100% recyclable which means that we have no excuse for it ending up anywhere other than a recycling bin. You can start by cutting down on paper waste i.e. not printing unless extremely necessary and printing double-sided where possible. It’s also good to revisit your supply chain from time to time with a view to utilising recycled packaging materials.

Confidential paper bins are also ideal for businesses that possess secure documents. Before shredding, it is vital that certain paper waste is kept safe which is why secure, lockable confidential bins are a sensible addition to any office recycling scheme.

How is Paper Recycled?



By 2050, there will be more plastics in the sea than fish. It’s a sobering concept, and outlines the work that is still desperately needed when it comes to plastic recycling.

Most office workers drink from plastic bottles at some point or another. The question is, where is the waste going? If the answer is anything short of recycling, then it’s a wrong answer!

Rid your office of single-use plastic where possible. Encourage workers to bring in reusable cups and glasses to prevent waste from the outset. Responsibly source office containers and packaging and opt for metal cutlery that can be cleaned and reused.

With any recycling stations, plastic waste is a must-have as it’s probably one of the most common waste materials. How about implementing a reverse vending machine to help incentivise recycling behaviour at work? They’re a great way of reducing waste from plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups, all regularly used items within any office!

Recycling Journey of Plastic


Food and drink waste

A busy workforce can generate a lot of food and drink waste. That means packaging and leftover liquids and food. There still continues to be a great deal of confusion surrounding food waste when it comes to what can and can’t be recycled. However, modern recycling stations make efforts easier with waste options for both liquids and food waste.

Food waste bins with standardised labelling make it super easy to separate your food scraps from additional waste. It’s a great way of preventing contamination of waste while also helping you keep your area clean and hygienic.

Recycling Journey of food waste


Top Tip- Provide enough recycling bins

Regardless of the type of waste you find within your office, in order for recycling to be a success, it relies on ease of use and convenience for users. To encourage your workforce to recycle, you need to provide the adequate resources to do so. You need to supply plenty of central bins and more specific bins in places that they’ll be needed the most. Every printer should have a paper bin alongside it, for example!

It is highly advisable to remove any under-desk bins as these discourage workers from doing the right thing. Why head to the recycling station if there’s a bin right by their feet?

Incorporate recycling bins and/or stations throughout your office with waste options to meet your personal requirements. It’s likely that you’ll need paper and plastics, but anything else is largely down to individual business waste. If you opt for a bespoke option, you have even greater freedom to match your internal recycling bin to your overall business brand.

Remember, make sure that bins are positioned in close proximity to workers so that they’re easy and convenient to use!

Custom 4W Unisort Aspire recycling station with wheels


Who are Unisan?

Unisan’s key mission is to empower and support workspace recycling, in any environment. We are continually assisting organisations in achieving their sustainability goals and helping businesses demonstrate their commitment to both the environment and their workforce.

If you’re passionate about the empowering your workplace and want to reach new heights with your recycling scheme, please get in touch with a member of the Unisan team who will be happy to help.

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