Humans manufactured more plastic in the last decade than in the whole of the previous century. This boom in plastic production is fuelled in part by the popularity of single-use items such as bottled water, drinking straws and coffee cups. While ‘single’ in use, these items can have a lifespan of up to 400 years, as they are rarely biodegradable, with a legacy up to five times that of the person who discarded it in the first place.
With the FM sector continuing to grow at a steady rate and more companies operating globally, facilities management professionals have the opportunity to collectively ‘step-up’ and instigate positive change in the battle against non-biodegradable waste. Beyond cutting back on the usage of single-use plastics, this can go a step further.
OCS Statement of Intent
The battle with single-use plastic is well documented and, at OCS, our attention is sharply focused on how we can limit the impact of our operations on the environment. Our immediate focus is the UK, where we employ approximately 22,000 people, and where the plastics agenda is most established. Our business touches millions of people every week, and that means that we are in a position to make positive changes.
Today, OCS in the UK, is committing to reducing our single-use plastic footprint. We want to do the right thing for our business, our employees, our clients and our environment. For us that means taking stock of how we manage waste across our business, being realistic about what we can do to improve, working with our suppliers to ensure that improvements are made holistically, and making sustainable changes that will have a positive impact on our plastic use. What is equally important is making sure that any changes we make are not detrimental to other environmental concerns, such as our carbon footprint.
We have already taken the first steps on our journey to reduce single-use plastic waste - replacing plastic straws and sandwich bags across our UK catering functions with more sustainable options. We have updated our procurement process to ensure that we prioritise working with suppliers who share our vision and, in collaboration with Reconomy, our waste management supplier, we have started our education programme to encourage all those who interact with OCS to think twice about their own plastic use.
OCS is committed to implementing sustainable changes the right way to make sure they have a long-term positive effect. We are committed to doing the right thing by reducing the use of single-use plastics and improving waste management, without having a negative impact on other environmental issues.
We know that we are at the start of an important journey, but it is one that we are determined to get right, and we invite you to follow our progress.