Businesses across Australia are being urged to join the mission to end the use of single-use plastic (SUP) during “Plastic Free July.” The call is spearheaded by start-up Zero Co, which produces locally-made, zero-waste personal care and home cleaning products. Zero Co is also calling on businesses to encourage their employees to go SUP free at home as well.
The call comes on the back of recent reports suggesting that there are almost 2.5 million businesses in Australia buying and throwing away SUP bottles such as communal hand wash and dishwashing liquid each week. Even with the correct office recycling system, the National Waste Report 2020 noted that an overwhelming 85 per cent of plastic, equivalent to 200 Olympic swimming pools, are put into recycling bins and ends up in landfill.
As a way to promote the move away from SUP, Zero Co has launched the Work Waste Challenge which it hopes to shine a light on the impact businesses can have on tackling Australia’s plastic problem.
“The idea is simple, businesses make a plastic-free pledge on our website, we share a staff discount code and set them up with an office starter pack (if they need one) with things like hand wash, multi-purpose cleaner and dishwashing liquid,” Zero Co founder Mike Smith explained in a statement about the Work Waste Challenge. “Their business will be placed on our leader board to show how many SUP bottles they’re diverting from landfill and how many of their staff sign up to join our mission throughout the month.”
Businesses participating in the challenge will also get to contribute to local ocean clean-ups and the use of eco-friendly products that get delivered carbon negative.
“This is the kind of immediate action we need from businesses around Australia,” Smith said. “If we can get workplaces involved in tackling the plastic problem, it sets a great example for employees to take similar action in their homes, too.”
Over 90 businesses have already expressed their participation in the challenge. Zero Co hopes to inspire 1000 Aussie brands to join their SUP free mission before the end of Plastic Free July.