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Plastic Free July: How we can all get involved

| Sally-Anne Hurn | 8 July 2024

This month marks Plastic Free July, an awareness month organised by Plastic Free Foundation which aims to help millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

The month-long event encourages individuals and businesses around the world to ‘choose to refuse’ single-use plastic, replacing it with more sustainable, reusable alternatives.

Here at Duncan & Toplis, we’ve pulled together our top tips on how both businesses and individuals can get involved.

What can you do?

Plastic pollution is a huge, global issue - but by each making small changes, we can collectively make a big difference to our communities.

Just some examples of changes individuals can make include:

  • Take your reusable hot drinks cup to the coffee shop with you, instead of using their takeaway cups
  • Choose unpackaged fruit and vegetables in the supermarket
  • Purchase a reusable, refillable water bottle
  • Remember to take your reusable shopping bags with you when you go shopping

And for businesses, you can:

  • Switch to sustainable, wooden cutlery if you offer takeaway food
  • Sell loose fresh fruit and vegetables, instead of packaging them in plastic
  • Use paper or metal straws, instead of plastic straws
  • Sell reusable carrier bags, instead of single-use plastic bags

By taking part in Plastic Free July, you’ll be finding alternatives that can become new habits forever - not just for one month of the year.

What are we doing?

At Duncan & Toplis, we’re committed to sustainability. Now that we’re one of the largest accountancy groups in the Midlands, we recognise that it’s even more important that our group plays a greater role in supporting the natural environment.

Having a greater positive impact on the world around us is something we want to do - and reducing our plastic usage is a big part of this.

To reduce our plastic waste, our team member engagement group, Team100, has implemented a waste reduction initiative across the company at our 11 offices in the East Midlands.

As part of this, we:

  • Implement blister pack and pod back recycling
  • Have taken part in the Tub2Pub scheme to recycle our empty plastic confectionery and cracker tubs
  • Cater our events at 80% rather than 100% to reduce food packaging and food waste
  • Have introduced more eco-friendly, sustainable stationery into the business including pens, notebooks, pencils and diaries

Reducing carbon emissions

As well as reducing our plastic usage and waste, we’re also aiming to reduce our total carbon emissions to zero within the next five to eight years and have been recognised as being ‘On the Road to Net Zero’ by Net Zero Now.

To achieve this certification, we were required to conform with the criteria of the net zero sector protocol, complete key tasks and make climate commitments including:

  • Complete an annual carbon footprint calculation
  • Take action to achieve targets to restrict warming to less than 1.5 degrees
  • Compensate for residual emissions
  • Agree to publish greenhouse gas emissions data

Currently, the majority of our emissions are produced by utilities, transport, IT and goods and services, so our targets will be predominantly focused on reducing greenhouse gases in these key areas.

To learn more about our sustainability initiatives, you can read our 2024 ESG report here.

And if you’re a business looking for accounting and business advice, including how you can improve your sustainability, get in touch with us today.

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