On average, households and businesses in the UK are producing approximately 28 tonnes of waste every year and currently only a small proportion of that waste is being recycled.
All waste that is not recycled is either taken to landfill or incinerated, both of which have a negative affect on the earth's atmosphere and causing pollution to air, water and land, as well as being extremely expensive.
Back in 1999, the UK government and European Union agreed on the EU Landfill Directive which encouraged households and businesses to reduce the amount that they throw away in exchange for recycling more of their waste. According to the targets set out in the directive, by 2020 we must reduce biodegradable municipal waste that is sent to landfill to 35% of the total amount produced in 1995.
Due to these facts businesses are becoming more cautious about the amount of waste that they produce and are opting to recycle where they can and also opt to purchase products that have been recycled and that are more eco-friendly. This is especially true for 'eco-friendly' companies as they must 'practice what they preach' and cannot be seen to be purchasing lots of merchandise that is going to, inevitably, end up in landfill.
There are, however, times when companies need to purchase merchandise for marketing campaigns to increase exposure of their brand or purchase gifts for their employees to show their appreciation, but there are many recycled / environmentally friendly / energy saving products available.
Here are some examples of such products:
Choosing to buy authentic organic fabrics and clothing rather than non-organic clothing can help the environment in a number of ways. For instance in the production of organic clothing the manufacture of chemicals is not required and therefore there is no chance of chemical residues accidentally entering into the environment. This also means that both humans and animals are not exposed to chemicals when touching the fabric and when the fabric is finished with chemicals are not returned to the earth in landfill or enter into the recycling process.
Energy Saving Products
Another eco-friendly corporate gift or promotional product idea are energy saving products, these are gadgets that would usually require batteries or electricity that have been designed to use a lot less energy.
For example water powered digital clocks, wind up phone chargers and solar powered torches. Items like these use renewable energy sources for power and are therefore much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Another eco friendly option is to choose goods that have been made from recycled materials and there are lots of different products available from pens and pencils to coasters and mugs. These types of products can be recycled from some various different materials such as tyres, paper and card, plastic bottles and cups and even retail packaging.
For example plastic bottles are made from polyester and can therefore be recycled into clothing and it takes just twenty five two-litre drink bottles to make one adult size fleece.
Pens and pencils can be produced from recycled paper as it takes 70% less energy to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.
Tyres are also a great source of material for some products as once they are no longer legal to be used on a car they can be transformed into a material that is similar to leather and then formed into products such as coasters, key rings and notepads.
Another important factor to consider when trying to reduce waste is to calculate the volumes you order accurately. Too many products could result in the items being wasted but too few would mean that you didn't reach as many people as desired.
If you are looking for some promotional merchandise, but are conscious of the environmental impact then speak to a specialist recycled products distributor as they will be able to help you select the most appropriate products.