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‘Go over and above the requirement’

Martin Tobin of European Recycling Platform offers five practical tips for companies to implement

In  the workplace, many people tend to leave these responsible behaviours at home and think that recycling in the workplace is somebody else’s responsibility.

In the workplace, many people tend to leave these responsible behaviours at home and think that recycling in the workplace is somebody else’s responsibility.

 

There are a raft of regulations and laws at local, national and European levels that businesses of all types must comply with.

Martin Tobin, chief executive of the European Recycling Platform (ERP), says Irish businesses are some of the most compliant in Europe .“Over the past 10 years we have seen a massive increase in compliance. ” He outlines five things Irish businesses should keep in mind when it comes to recycling and compliance.

1. Join a waste scheme
Joining one of the many private waste schemes can make adhering to recycling legislation very cost-effective for businesses, says Tobin.

“If a business joins a scheme like Repak or ERP, depending on its waste, the obligation sits with us. We bring expertise in education, as well as building collection networks and treatment networks. ”

2. Change the culture
“For some reason at the workplace, many people tend to leave these behaviours at home and think that recycling in the workplace is somebody else’s responsibility.” Businesses should strive to transform their company culture so that recycling becomes a way of life, says Tobin.

3. It’s not just paper
“There is a huge amount of portable batteries in the workplace. Yet almost 50 per cent of batteries purchased in Ireland end up in domestic waste. There are two issues with that: they contain hazardous substances albeit in small quantities; but they also contain valuable materials for recycling.”

4. Be inspection ready
It’s not just about being compliant, businesses must be able to demonstrate this compliance too. Indeed, Tobin says inspections are common, whether its officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

5. Don’t just aim for the bare minimum
Tobin stresses that rules and regulations around recycling are constantly changing as Ireland and the wider European Union strives to become more sustainable. “Go over and above the requirement,” he urges.