9 Ways To Reduce Plastic Bottle Waste At Your Workplace

Published On June 22, 2009 | By Tomás Bosque | Articles, Take Action

Bottled water waste continues to be a major concern for our world. In 2006, Americans used nearly 50 billion plastic water bottles and sent nearly 38 billion to landfills. If laid end to end, that’s enough bottles to travel from the Earth to the Moon and back 10 times.

Looking to make an environmentally friendly impact at your office? Here are 9 ways to reduce plastic bottle waste at your workplace.

1. Initiate a Company-Wide Ban on Single-Use Water Bottles


Imagine a workplace free of plastic bottle waste filling up waste containers. Encourage your company to consider a ban on single-use water bottles thus becoming more green and sustainable. Having trouble getting the management to agree to such an egregious suggestion? Sell them on the idea that instituting something like this will be great for PR and make your company a bright spot in the green business community.

2. Prominently Display Recycling Containers Throughout Your Facility


Okay. I get it. Maybe some companies out there aren’t quite ready for a complete ban on bottles. Well there’s still hope through recycling. Did you know that recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space? Take the initiative to get a company-wide recycling program started by placing recycling containers throughout your office. Send co-workers memos noting the new containers and why recycling is important. For a more detailed look at starting an office recycling program, check out Wake County’s Guide to Starting a Recycling Program.

3. Install a Sustainable Water Dispenser

hydration-stationForget single-use bottled water and start using a sustainable water dispenser to fill up your sports bottle and meet the needs for hydration. The HydrationStation water dispenser features a touch-free, hygienic interface with built-in filter technology to make tap water taste great. Water dispensers like the HydrationStation can save your company thousands of dollars on bottled water costs while creating a more eco-friendly work environment.

4. Create a Sustainability Team

people-on-buildingA sustainability team essentially creates and implements projects that address company-wide environmental problems. These teams help establish sustainable practices at your workplace and can have a huge impact on reducing plastic bottle waste and create an overall improvement to your company.

5. Give All Employees a Refillable Sports Bottle

nalgene-water-bottleEncourage your coworkers and employees to ban single-use plastic bottles by giving every employee a refillable sports bottle like ones made by Nalgene There are a wide variety of bottles available including BPA-free plastic bottles and stainless steel bottles. Carry the water you need and reduce your impact on the environment – one Nalgene bottle can last for decades, making it easy to stop buying single-serve bottled water to fulfill your everyday hydration needs. You can even have your company’s logo printed on these bottles to help encourage branding and name recognition.

6. Place a Filtered-Water Carafe in Every Break Room Refrigerator

brita-pitcherPlacing a filtered-water pitcher like a Brita into every refrigerator in your office is a quick and easy way to help lower plastic bottle waste. One Brita pitcher filter can effectively replace as much as 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles. So you can get great-tasting water without so much waste. If your coworkers struggle with the idea of giving up their delicious “mineral spring” water for yucky tap water, a Brita is a perfect way to help make tap water taste great. The active carbon filters help remove odors and tastes, giving you fresh, great tasting tap water.

7. Distribute Literature To Employees On the Harmful Effects of Water Bottle Waste

astrashwash1In 2006, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38. Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2006. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic are wasted each year. Help create awareness to your coworkers and employees on the harmful effects plastic bottles create for our environment. Filter For Good has a great section with more eye-opening stats for you to share with your workmates.

8. Provide Employee Incentives For Bringing In and Using Reusable Bottles

employee-recognitionEncourage using reusable bottles by providing an incentive or contest for your coworkers and employees. See which department can truly “ban the bottle” and provide the winners with a lunch party!

9. Give New Life to Old Plastic Bottles

Bottle With PlantSo now that you’ve truly banned the bottle in your workplace, what the heck are you going to do with all those old plastic bottles? Bring new life to them! Here are a few things you can make with your old single-use bottles:

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13 Responses to 9 Ways To Reduce Plastic Bottle Waste At Your Workplace

  1. San Francisco’s Green11 now gives consumers an easy option to impact the growing plastics in our landfills. Now you can refill your own container with everyday personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, lotions, and cleaning products. Don’t throw away that bottle, REFILL IT!

  2. Karen says:

    Great article. I wholeheartedly agree! We put a water cooler in our office for earth day and I made everyone bring their own cup/bottle for the water. I told them, “no more plastic bottles or disposable cups.”


    It’s been a huge success!

  3. sisay Kifle says:

    Thank you for your free access of this topics. it a good for the personb like me who is a plastic technologist and environmental activist. knowing this send me further information if you have for my book. i am writing a book titeled “A guide line for plastic waste”


  4. Great suggestions. Our office recently did number #3 on the list. Water bottles are so bad. Have you heard about the water bottles from Primo? They are made from corn, not oil. Check out this article and video: http://savetheearthyall.com/content/primo-water-bottles-are-1

  5. Bottled water waste continues to be a major concern for our world. In 2006, Americans used nearly 50 billion plastic water bottles and sent nearly 38 billion to landfills. If laid end to end, that’s enough bottles to travel from the Earth to the Moon and back 10 times. Here are nine easy ways to help curb this trend at your workplace.

  6. Keep up the good work , I read few articles on this site and I believe that your blog is real interesting and contains lots of good info .

  7. Pingback: Banning Bottled Water in National Parks? | The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project

  8. Pingback: Sustainable Saturday: Save Your Green and Tap It! | Foodem.com

  9. michael says:

    thanks a lot for the ideas and fakes shown on this page it will help for this video we have to make for a class i have.

  10. allen says:

    good. This gave me a lot of ways to reuse water bottles we us in our life

  11. Vanessa Lagrange says:

    Also you can use a portable purification system in a reusable bottle. I use one from AquaSmarter, it is amazing and it has been working really good. You should google it and find more info because it is amazing

  12. Cade says:

    Great read, always looking for extra ways to be more efficient around the office. I just wanted to share something I’ve been doing recently. I run an office and have noticed that unused toner was piling up in storage. Looked into returning but that was no good. Tried out the site http://www.tonerconnect.net/ and was impressed. They had quick service and that payout was nice.

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