Sometimes the cheapest products are not the best for the environment. Many office products are sold at very low prices so they can be treated as disposable. But better quality more durable items may save money in the long run. Consider what is required before you order. Think about ordering refillable pens, heavy duty files, long-life light bulbs. Consider durable cups which are then washed and reused rather than paper/plastic cups. But if your vending machine requires plastic cups there are schemes which will collect the used ones and recycle them. Ask your vending machine supplier.
Try to dispose of unwanted, obsolete and used items sensibly, with a thought for the environment. The Green Choices waste and recycling section has lots of information on disposing of a whole range of products, including computers, printer toner and ink jet cartridges and mobile phones. Biffa Waste Services can deal with all sorts of trade waste.
- Envirowise (archived) was a government programme offering UK businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.
- The Environmental Services Association is the trade association for companies providing waste management and associated environmental services. Its vision is of an economically and environmentally sustainable waste management industry for the United Kingdom and its purpose is to help all levels of government in the United Kingdom and its members to achieve this vision.
- There are innumerable businesses trading in used, second hand and unutilised construction materials, including architectural salvage companies specialising in period items or materials. Salvoweb provides access to a directory listing hundreds of companies in the UK and many more overseas. They are associated with SalvoMIE, a Materials Information Exchange which encourages reuse of low value salvage by builders, construction professionals and industry. Garwer WasteXchange is an international marketplace in waste materials which aims to increase the re-use and recycling of material currently disposed of as waste