Do you know how to tell people they’re wasting too many disposable cups? What are the best approaches to dealing with the issue?
Also, what are the possible solutions to this problem in your company? Check out some suggestions in this article!
What we’ll see in this article
Why people waste and what it has to do with organizational culture
After all, do people waste because there are too many resources available or because of the absence of a solid organizational culture on the issue?
Based on the assumption that resources are always finite and that every company allocates a limited slice of its budget to the purchase of inputs and materials for internal consumption, we see that the second option seems closer to an answer.
However, waste often doesn’t happen rationally or deliberately. It is a reflection of the lack of reflection and education on the subject.
If your company doesn’t have a culture of planning, cost control and budget adequacy, and if the managers themselves set a bad example in terms of consumption, it’s natural that employees won’t be aware of waste.
How can I say they’re wasting too many disposable cups?
Managers should feel comfortable broaching any topic of conversation or dialog with their teams. The issue of waste is a highly relevant subject that cannot be seen as taboo.
Talking about saving inputs and reducing waste doesn’t mean that the company has to control the use of each employee to the millimeter. Nor does it mean adopting a policy of control and severe austerity.
Avoiding waste, of any limited resource, is something that will become increasingly common and popular in society due to the need to raise awareness about waste, consumption and environmental preservation.
So it’s a good opportunity to approach this topic in the company in an empathetic and listening way, without the conversation being guided by a tone of repression or scolding.
The first step in dealing with responsible consumption is to control
It may be that only after many months has your stock and replenishment department realized that you are spending too much on disposable cups, especially for coffee.
This can be a clear demonstration that there are flaws in stock control and in the application of the budget. That’s why the first step to raising awareness about consumption in your company is to have control measures in place.
It is important that the departments responsible have a comparative analysis of the consumption of the cups, even to clearly state when the increase occurred. Another important measure is to set reduction targets and monthly consumption targets.
The second step in dealing with responsible consumption is transparency
If you want to create a culture of consumer awareness in your company, you need to demonstrate to your employees that the organization is committed to the cause.
To this end, adopting a transparency policy can be an important step for everyone to build trust in the intentions of the process.
You can talk about the consumption data in a general report for everyone, send an email with explanations or prepare a physical wall with this information. The most important thing is that everyone has access to it.
Identify the bottlenecks: what are people wasting disposable cups on?
Is there more than one model of disposable cup offered in the company? Do people use disposable cups more for drinking water or coffee? These observations are relevant to identifying the root of the problem.
Nowadays, many people prefer to have a bottle of water at their disposal, so perhaps the biggest consumption is of coffee cups.
If your company receives external people frequently, it is not an alternative to completely abolish the use of disposable cups. However, this model can be rethought for permanent employees.
Promote awareness campaigns on the subject
Before making drastic changes, such as banning disposable cups, invest in educational campaigns.
It’s interesting to make the campaign something that unites the whole company in the same purpose, so it may be worth holding a talk on the subject where the participation of all employees is mandatory.
At the same time, it’s not enough to take a one-off action and not follow through. Start the campaign with a starting point or inauguration, but continue the educational campaigns so that they become part of the company culture.
A good way to promote information on the subject is by sending out internal email marketing or by putting up posters and themed bulletin boards.
Promote the values of sustainability and nature conservation
Another way to engage your employees in the campaign against waste and overconsumption is to approach the issue from an environmental perspective.
This way, you can use data on the importance of reducing consumption for environmental preservation, how each person can collaborate and also data on how long it takes for each item to decompose.
Some impactful data to help illustrate
A disposable plastic cup, for example, takes 250 to 400 years to decompose in nature. In addition, they are the solid urban waste with the lowest percentage of recycling worldwide.
Encourage your employees to bring their own cups from home
Nowadays, most events and nightclubs use so-called ecocups, i.e. reusable cups. Customers must keep their glass until the end of the night. Isn’t that an interesting idea to promote in your company?
Encourage teams to have their own thermoses, glasses and cups. Each person is responsible for their own cup or mug and for sanitizing it.
You could promote some kind of bonus for those who adopt the measure in the first week of launch, for example.
Give away themed gifts
The company itself can make the campaign a way of promoting the organization’s internal marketing while encouraging employees to adopt the measure.
Ordering personalized mugs is a good idea to encourage teams to use reusable cups and mugs on a daily basis. See what situations and actions can be used to promote the distribution of these gifts to employee teams.
Another interesting idea is to use moments of internal relaxation, such as games and competitions, so that the mugs and glasses can be used as awards.
With a well-executed educational campaign and an incentive for employees to join in, you can reduce your company’s consumption of disposable cups to almost zero!