The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

reduce, reuse and recycle symbol on textured background

Since China’s ban on mixed materials (read more here), the recycling industry has been feeling the pinch. Recycling materials have been falling in value and stockpiles are beginning to build up around the UK.

When thinking about recycling there are three key steps to remember; reduce, reuse, recycle. These can help the environment by saving energy, natural resources and save you money.

Following these three steps can minimise your carbon footprint in many aspects of your life, but we’re focusing on tips you can follow to make your office greener.


Reducing the amount of waste created is the first way to help the environment


Give waste a second life by reusing it or donating it to be used by someone else


Enable the materials thrown away to be used again by making them into new


Reducing is the first point of action because it’s the most important way of minimising the impact your office has on the environment.

  • Try and order from suppliers who have minimal packaging
  • Use a hand dryer instead of paper towels
  • Only print what you really need a hard copy of
  • Use paper on both sides and set your printer to print double-sided
  • Use reusable kitchenware such as; plates, glasses and cutlery
  • Avoid buying individually wrapped items like sugar sachets
  • Buy an all-purpose cleaning material to minimise the number of containers needed


Reusing items as much as possible before replacing them makes more environmental sense than just throwing it away. Reusing something can also often benefit others.

  • Choose refillable items, such as printer cartridges
  • Reuse envelopes for internal mail
  • Try to repair office furniture or computer equipment
  • Donate unneeded equipment
  • Stick a new label on an old folder rather than order new ones
  • Use scrap paper to take notes
  • Reuse boxes for storage or sending parcels


The last step is recycle. If a product can no longer be used in its current state, you should ensure that the item and its components are recycled to give them a new purpose.

  • Recycle toner cartridges
  • Choose products that come in recyclable packaging
  • Food recycling is an easy way to reduce general waste, it can be turned into fertiliser and create energy

Some facts about recycling

  • Glass, metals and aluminium products can be recycled an infinite number of times with no loss in purity
  • Recycling one aluminium drink can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours
  • If a plastic bottle goes to landfill it can take up too 500 years to fully decompose

If you think your office could benefit from food or glass recycling systems, you can get in touch via email:, live chat on our website or call our sales line 03330 433 033, option 3.