10 ways your business can ‘go green’

The current global plastic crisis is causing a wave of reforms across both industry and government. In February 2018, the Queen made headlines globally with her decision to ban single use plastics from Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.[1]

In June 2018, Mars Inc. announced it would be spending $1 billion on sustainability with a strategy to make greener practices in an effort to reduce exposure to environmental, social and governance risks.[2]

In Australia, Woolworths announced in June 2018 that it will stop selling plastic straws by the end of 2018, as well as reduce plastic packaging in fruit and vegetables as pressure from environmentally-conscious customers mounts.[3] In a response, Coles has also announced it will halve food waste across its supermarkets in two years and divert 90 per cent of its waste, including food, cardboard and plastic, from landfill by 2022.[4] 

Whilst big business and influencers are playing their part in the War on Waste there are plenty of initiatives local businesses can implement to support the global efforts.  In return for your efforts, you can have peace of mind knowing that there are many positive side-effects of supporting the environment. These include; increased profits, increased customer loyalty and it has been proven that going green can stimulate innovation![5] 

Container Deposit Systems has listed the top 10 ways business can contribute and commit to ‘going green’. 


The phenomenally high use of plastic straws internationally is unknown, but it is estimated that Britain uses around 8.5 billion of them a year and America uses over 500 million a day.[6] Plastic straws are particularly bad for the environment as they cannot be easily recycled, and they are also small enough to appear as food for marine life. This leads to horrible implications for our environment. If you want your business or venue to stop using plastic straws, you can visit: http://www.laststraw.com.au/ to get valuable information.

2.       Use compact-fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights. 

Changing your lights to use less energy is not only good for the environment but will also save your business money in the long run due to decreased electricity bills. In Australia, there are incentives for businesses to implement change through government funding. LEDified sum up opportunities for businesses in NSW, VIC and SA here: http://www.ledified.com.au/why_ledified_government_incentives/ 

3.       Utilise your Recycling Bins and Container Deposit Schemes

Most businesses in Australia have recycling bins, however, many containers will end up as general recycling or in standard garbage. A better move for the environment is to establish your own container deposit process to deliver containers to your local recycling facility. Across Australia, there are now numerous Container Deposit Schemes offering refunds for containers.  This is a fantastic opportunity to engage employees to raise funds for the office, or a charity of choice – and support the environment at the same time.

4.       Incentivise Public Transport Use

Public transport provides a solution to decrease carbon dioxide emissions in our cities.  Establishing incentives to encourage public transport (rather than driving a car in each day) can have major effects on our local environments. Companies can support employees to take public transport by offering co-contribution to fares, rewards for taking trips or even simply general acknowledgement to increase employees desire to utilise public transport.

5.       Encourage Paperless Workflows

Discouraging printing saves paper, ink and money for the company. Ink cartridges are harmful to the environment due to their complex combination of plastic, metals, foam, ink and toners.  If you do require to use cartridges, you can join programs such as Planet Ark’s Close the loop: https://cartridges.planetark.org/involvement/

6.       Invest in reusable drink containers

Plastic bottles and coffees cups are major contributors to the 8 million tons of plastic that are dumped in our oceans every year.[7] A great way to support your employees and promote your brand is to invest in reusable coffee cups and drink bottles.  And, you can further use these items as promotional materials for clients and customers!

7.       Establish a Food Waste Management System

Each year, we waste an embarrassingly large amount of food. In Australia, the Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year![8]  There are numerous ways to curb this trend. Firstly, offices can establish a compost system to dispose food into our ‘green waste’ bins. These are turned into compost and reused in our communities. Secondly, if your business is wasting a lot of food, why not sign up to a charity group such as Oz Harvest? https://www.ozharvest.org/what-we-do/ The company support redistributing unwanted food to those who need it most.

8.       Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Stationery

Many employees don’t consider the humble stationery cupboard as an option to improve the environment. However, there are vast amounts of stationery items such as paperclips, pens and paper that end up needlessly in the bin. Encouraging reuse and even restocking with pre-used stationary can contribute to waste eliminations. Also, reusing pens is an excellent way to cut back on plastic consumption.  You can also invest in eco-friendly materials from companies such as Eco Office https://www.ecooffice.com.au/

9.       Establish an e-waste policy

E-waste is the fastest growing waste type in the world. In 2016, the world generated 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste and only 20% was recycled through appropriate channels; even though 66% of the world’s population has regulated e-waste legislation.[9] Establishing a process in your company to recycle e-waste properly can support the greater strategy of governments and the recycling industry to manage this issue. Container Deposit Systems recommends finding your local recycling facility by visiting: http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/

10.   Use your team to build a Green Strategy

Before implementing any ideas, why not use the processes as an opportunity to engage your staff to gain their ideas and inputs on how you can make your office more environmentally friendly.  Giving your team ownership of the process will increase the chance of success and you may come up with some excellent creative ideas!

Have more suggestions? If you do, please share them with us!


About Container Deposit Systems

Container Deposit Systems was formed with a vision to oversee the implementation of improved operational practices in recycling facilities.  The company offers a range of services to recycling depot facilities to drive productivity improvements and transition traditional recycling facilities into modern technically advanced operators.

The company achieve this through patented technologies which deliver manufacturing automation to auto-sort materials via a highly sensitive multi-sensor integration.  Systems integrations enable facilities to further gain efficiencies through workflows, materials handling, logistic processes, facility layout and design, customer interaction and data acquisition and management. 

Container Deposit Systems technologies are designed and manufactured in Australia with local partners Sage Automation and Macweld Engineering.

For more information, please contact us directly.  



[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43030701
[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-05/greener-candy-bars-and-gum-seen-as-big-profit-driver-for-mars
[3] http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-06-04/coles-pledges-to-wrap-plastic-use-woolworths-bans-straws/9831644
[4] http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-06-04/coles-pledges-to-wrap-plastic-use-woolworths-bans-straws/9831644
[5] https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/4-reasons-why-going-green-has-gone-mainstream-in-business.html
[6] https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/23/plastic-straws-bad-environment-7336541/?ito=cbshare
[7] https://plasticoceans.org/the-facts/
[8] http://www.joshfrydenberg.com.au/siteData/uploadedData/Minister%20Frydenberg%20-%20Media%20Release%20-%20Pre%20Food%20Waste%20Roundtable_d0300e69-58ce-44ca-820d-8ccdfd1dac0b.pdf
[9] https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:6341/Global-E-waste_Monitor_2017__electronic_single_pages_.pdf