Reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives is becoming more and more important to people and it is something that we are constantly striving to improve upon at APECS. Our industry uses a huge amount of plastic, not only in packaging and shipping, but also in day to day life with locksmiths, sales teams and technical staff out on the road.
Plastic was a wonderful invention; a cheap, strong, durable and malleable material for packaging, wrapping, bags, cups, bottles, furniture and just about everything else you can think of.
There is a huge downside to plastic though, and that is the impact that it has on the environment. Since the 1950’s, the world has produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic (that’s the equivalent of more than 800,000 Eiffel Towers) and only 9% of that has been recycled. Unfortunately, a huge amount of this plastic has ended up in the world’s oceans, with a reported 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic being present. The problem is so bad that if it continues at its current rate, plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by the year 2050.
One of the major strengths of plastic is also one of the biggest problems; it takes a very long time to break down. Current estimates are that plastic takes 500-700 years to decompose, that means the plastic we are manufacturing today will still be on the planet for the next six or seven generations of our families lives.
Here at APECS, we are striving to reduce the amount of plastic we are using, both in our packaging and in our offices. 2020 will see us reduce the amount of plastic we are using in our packaging by up to 80%, as well as changing any plastic that we do use to 100% recycled or biodegradable plastic alternatives. We have also reduced the size of our cylinder packaging, meaning that we can fit more cylinders into each container, reducing our carbon footprint with less deliveries needed.
It is not just in our packaging that we have made changes though. In our London office, we have provided all of our staff with tote bags to ensure that they are not using plastic bags from shops. We have also given staff members metal water bottles to stop the need for buying plastic bottles when they are out on the road.
We realise that as locksmiths, you are on the road a lot of the day yourselves, and this results in buying lots of single use plastic items such as bottles of water, coffees and food containers. There are plenty of simple changes you can make in your own life to help with this issue though and these can also save you money at the same time.
Here are our top three tips to help reduce the amount of plastic you are using;
- Buy a re-usable water bottle
- Buy a re-usable coffee cup
- Buy re-usable tote bags and use them for your shopping
These three small, simple changes will not only help the environment; they will help you save money. If you have a re-usable water bottle, you can get this refilled at most coffee shops free of charge. Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the high street coffee shops will now also give you a discount on your coffee if you bring your own re-usable coffee cup, so it’s a win-win for everyone! Save money and help save the environment.
Here at APECS we are looking to lead a sustainability shift in the lock and door hardware industry and we believe that if everyone does something, even small, to reduce the amount of plastic they use, we can have a big impact.