How to Recycle at Work

Does your company want to be seen as a recycling front-runner? A company that recycles demonstrates corporate social responsibility ethos. Reduce your carbon footprint and make an impact!

1. Why Should Your Company Recycle?

Gain a USP – Recycling is key to a sustainable business approach and a unique selling point that builds positive relationships with current and future customers.

Attract quality employees and improve employee retention. People want to do the right thing and they want to work for a company that is doing the right thing. A recycling programme builds team spirit, draws staff together and makes employees aware of the trash they’re generating and how they’re disposing of it.

Contribute to job creation – Recycling creates more employment opportunities, both in the collection and recycling of used materials, and in the manufacturing of new products that are made from this recycled material.

Make a positive impact on the earth – Recycling helps to reduce pollution, decrease the volume of waste sent to landfill and our reliance on unsustainable natural resources.

2. Starting a work-based recycling programme

Get management buy-in by discussing the following:

A. Conducting a waste assessment
B. Surveying your colleagues to get ideas
C. Engaging key stakeholders (facilities management, cleaning staff etc)
D. Developing your recycling plan
E. Monitoring and reporting on results

A. Conducting a waste assessment:

  • Assess the waste produced and the materials it is made from.
  • Where can you reduce, reuse and recycle? Eg, double-sided printing will save paper when printing can’t be avoided; single-use plastic cups can be replaced with glasses.
  • How much of your waste can be recycled? Check on the packaging to see if it is recyclable or not. On plastic packaging, look for the recycling symbol (a triangle created with arrows) or check for whether the packaging says ‘recyclable’ or ‘not recyclable’.

B. Surveying colleagues

  • Ask your colleagues if they already recycle at home and how they do it. Employees who already recycle at home can share ideas. These will be your recycling champions so find them and give them a voice!

C. Engaging key stakeholders

  • Talk to the building or facility management and the cleaning and waste contractors to discover what systems are in place and what their associated costs are, as well as where recycling bins can be located and where the recycling collection company can collect from.

D. Developing your recycling plan

  • Add new findings to the action points identified in your waste assessment. Develop an implementation plan.
  • Include: deciding on the bin system you’ll use, where the bins will be placed, signage development, educating and training recycling champions, creating a staff-engagement campaign, and establishing how you will monitor the progress.
  • Get approval for your plan from the relevant stakeholders.
  • Implement it.

E. Monitor and report on results

  • Speak to your recycling collection company about how they will report on how much they collect from you each week/month.
  • Ensure bins are used correctly.
  • Tackle any issues immediately so that no one has an excuse not to recycle.

3. Who Will Collect our Recyclables?

Check your local municipality’s website or use this link to find a recycling collection service close to you: or here –

Or you can ask neighbouring companies who already recycle to tell you who collects their recycling.

Please tell us which company you decide to use so that we can share this information and other Million+ Recycling Heroes can also use their services. Let’s grow recycling together!

4. About the Million+ Plastic Recycling Revolution

The Million+ is a Polyco initiative that aims to get at least one million people in South Africa to commit to recycle their plastic packaging to put an end to plastic pollution in the environment. We believe that recycling is something that every person can do to make a positive impact on the earth.

How can we achieve this? The Million+ draws on the power of networks. If every person that recycles encourages just one more person to start recycling, the commitment to recycling in South Africa will spread from a small minority of people to mass action, and a cleaner environment for all. We want to see a South Africa where recycling is standard and where we no longer find plastic litter in the environment. This is going to take everyone in South Africa being responsible for the plastic packaging that they buy and to recycle it after use.

You can show your commitment by signing up below to the cause, or learn more on our Million Plus website – – and then encouraging your peers, colleagues, friends and family to join too.

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With so many problems facing the world right now – from climate change to poverty – recycling is one of the differences each one of us can make every day that has far-reaching benefits. The Plastic Recycling Revolution is on a mission to keep plastic out of our environment and to grow plastic recycling in South Africa. We aim to do this by getting one million people to commit to recycling and to spread the word about the importance of recycling by recruiting others to the revolution. Join us, share your recycling stories, information and needs and help build a healthier environment for all.


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