It’s Second Hand September every month round here. We furnished our whole flat from boot sales, junk shops, markets, hand-me-downs & ebay. I found our red formica dining table abandoned on the side of the road up on the Goldborne Road end of Portabello late in the day about 10 years ago, legs held together with elastic bands. It’s still standing more than a decade later, no sweat. Meanwhile, all this is just to say that reusing second hand stuff makes a fine first choice.
At Fill Refill we don’t believe in single use anything. All the things we make and supply are reusable, returnable and refillable. No wrap. No tags. No bags. No unnecessary labels. We choose to reuse used boxes and we try hard to go a whole-lot further than most, often just to prove that it can be done! We always wash & refill all returnable packaging, we choose reclaimed second-hand pallets, second hand reconditioned 200L & 1000L IBC containers and second hand cardboard boxes. We even wash and reuse bottle lids & drum caps and we ask Fill Seekers to send/bring back any cardboard packaging for us to use again. When we can’t reuse it, we’ll shred broken down boards and use as infill packaging to bring you what you need. Single use is over!
Since it’s second hand September right now, we figured it would be a good time for a boxing lesson from our pals at Reuseabox – the second hand re-boxing champions who are giving single use the ole one-two! We started working with Reuseabox a couple of years ago, as soon as we found out that they were rescuing cardboard boxes destined for the waste stream and putting them back into the supply chain for a second time around.
Here’s their story.
A few years ago a teenage Jack Good started buying and selling cardboard boxes to help pay the bills. Later his sister Ellie joins and has an idea… “What if we could prove to businesses that they could reduce their environmental impact simply by reusing cardboard boxes?” They put the concept to the test and developed the first-of-its-kind Carbon Footprint Tool that tracks the environmental benefits of cardboard reuse. Today Reuseabox helps thousands of companies reduce their impact on the environment, simply by reusing cardboard boxes. They are creating a future where cardboard is reused before it’s recycled. Where our trees are protected before we plant new ones. And businesses work together to tackle the global waste crisis, one box at a time.
Here’s some advice from them, for anyone who wants to reuse more and throw away less.
At Reuseabox we’re always on the lookout for ways we can reduce our impact. We believe second hand September shouldn’t just be for folks at home, all businesses should be doing it too.
Reuse Before Recycle
Shockingly, less than 10% of plastics ever produced have been recycled. For the plastic that does get recycled, the process itself isn’t great. When you choose to reuse you delay the recycling process and reduce your impact on the environment. There are so many ways to reuse in the workplace.
Here’s our go-to list of reusable products in the workplace.
Reusable & refillable cleaning products
We love the refillable glass bottles from Fill Refill and we’re obsessed with their reusable sponges for washing pots.
Coffee cups & kitchenware
We recently invested in a good coffee machine and banned single use coffee cups. We visited our local charity shop to pick-up plates, cups, bowls and cutlery to avoid using disposable ones.
A lot of packaging can be reused before it gets to being recycled. If some of your products are delivered in cardboard boxes, consider reusing the boxes. Most cardboard boxes are strong enough to be used way more than once. You’ll also save money reducing the amount of new packaging you need to buy.
We’re working hard to reduce our energy and water bills so it seemed like a no brainer to install a water butt. Now we can reuse rainwater to water the plants.
Buy Second Hand
If you must buy something, buy second hand!
We have a policy where office furniture, electronics and equipment is sourced second hand wherever possible. We love scouring local community or second hand sites to see who can find the best deal!
At Reuseabox we’re on a mission to disrupt the packaging industry and prove that cardboard boxes are not single use items. We provide used cardboard boxes to businesses looking for a more responsible way to package their products. By choosing to reuse they’re saving time, money and waste.
Upcycle Your Way to Something Better
Upcycling is so often seen as something we do at home, revamping an old dress or painting a piece of furniture. But did you know you can upcycle in the workplace? Think about everything you throw away or send to recycling. Is there anything that could be saved and made into something better? At Reuseabox we often find ourselves with broken wooden pallets that we use for storing and transporting boxes. While many can be repaired, some of them have seen better days. This summer we decided to upcycle some broken pallets and an old cable drum into some outdoor furniture.
Join the Sharing Economy
The office is the perfect place to swap or share. Why not install a clothes rack where employees can swap an outfit instead of buying something new. Surprisingly, books can’t be recycled which means they often end up in landfill. To prevent this unnecessary waste, have a bookshelf where employees can leave their old books for someone else to pick up and enjoy.