How Small Things Really Can Make a Big Difference


We’ve all seen and been horrified by the issues around the amount of plastic currently being used, discarded and now polluting so many areas.  It all feels like a big mountain to climb to try and change how our society has viewed and used these things for such a long time. What can we as consumers, small businesses and producers do to help out?

There are legal implications for businesses.  If they produce or handle over a certain amount of packaging waste they are bound by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.  Currently companies that handle or produce over 50 Tonnes each year and have a turnover of more than £2million a year need to comply with this legislation. ‘Handling’ includes things like selling packaged goods to the end user, importing packaged goods from outside the UK and a few other things too.

This does mean high street supermarkets have these obligations and though we as consumers are probably aware they recycle carrier bags did you realise you can actually take other packaging back to them? In the plastic bag recycling you can also recycle:

plastic bread bags

plastic bags from breakfast cereals

plastic wrappers and ring joiners from multipacks of cans and bottles

plastic wrappers from toilet rolls and kitchen towels

plastic freezer bags

plastic magazine and newspaper wrap

bubble wrap

thin bags used for fruit and veg packaging

flexible plastic multi-pack holders/rings

As small businesses we can encourage recycling by having separate bins in our premises and using waste recycling services, though this is generally not provided by the local authority so it may take some investigation to work out which is the right option for you.  If you want to show your customers that you are passionate about protecting the environment you can implement an environmental management system such as ISO 14001:2015, this shows that you are continually looking for ways to improve your environmental credentials. This is something that we really enjoy helping companies to achieve.

There are a lot of small ways that we can all play our part and if everyone joins in that small thing suddenly makes a big difference. 

If your business needs any help or advice on environmental management please get in touch with our resident expert Sara at who will be happy to help.