Effective waste-management: a duty, not an option

A WELL-STRUCTURED waste management plan can affect the internal and external perspectives of a company.

It can also make a company more desirable to work with, and improve “aspirational employer” standings. Research from KPMG found that 20 percent of UK office workers would refuse a role if ESG factors weren’t considered a priority.

Scott Hawthorne, MD at Skips & Bins, stresses the importance of appropriate waste management and recycling strategies. Commercial and industrial waste generated by the UK in 2020 was around 40.4m tonnes, he says.


Computing hardware must be disposed of; laptops, telephones and peripherals become obsolete over time. But when it comes time to remove them from the workplace, what should be done with them?

This problem of “e-waste” is one of the biggest offenders. A study from Uswitch found that the UK is second (behind Norway) in the amount of e-waste generated per capita — around 23.9kg.

The government introduced stringent laws on the disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which could see firms prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 for improperly disposing of these items. If the case goes to Crown Court, the fine could be unlimited.

Single-use plastics

From hospitality to healthcare, single-use plastics —plates, cutlery, cups and trays — are a cheaper alternative to reusable items. But the UK government has decided that from October, single-use plastics will be banned in the UK.

While that may seem drastic, estimates from the government show that 2.7 billion pieces of plastic cutlery and 721 million disposable plates are used each year. Only 10 percent of them are recycled.

This was announced in January to give businesses enough time to adjust their strategies and processes.


Physical copies of schedules, contracts and forms can be recycled up to seven times before the new product weakens. Paper still accounts for around 20 percent of waste each year.