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Water: Marine Debris

What You Can Do at the Office

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At the Office

You may not realize it but what you do at the office can have an impact on marine debris. Regardless of location or field, businesses and offices create a large amount of trash that adds to the waste stream and may eventually become marine debris. Here are four easy steps you can take at the office to help reduce waste and marine debris.

Dispose of trash properly

How Can Reducing Waste Save Costs?
Find out more on how source reduction can mean savings for businesses.
Use the recycle bins in your office to recycle your paper, newspapers, and beverage and food containers. Ensure the waste collection staff in your office separate trash and recyclables appropriately. Make sure your office has trash and recycling receptacles that are secure and covered when placed outside. If your office does not have recycling facilities, use the Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste (PDF) (82 pp, 50MB, About PDF) to find out more information on business waste reduction.

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Reduce paper consumption

Did You Know?
The trash most commonly found in municipal landfills is paper, accounting for more than 40 percent of a landfill's contents or 71.8 million tons! For every ton of mixed paper recycled, the equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline is saved. (EPA 2007)
Limit your printing to save paper and ink. Read your emails and documents on the computer rather than making hard copies. Print double-sided copies. Reuse used paper for scrap paper and notes. Cutting down on paper, ink cartridges, and the packaging associated with these products is a significant way to reduce the amount of waste generated and conserve natural resources.

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Use reusable containers and cups

Avoid disposable items such as plates, bottles, cups, and utensils by bringing reusable alternatives to work. When using single-use items, such as napkins, take only what is needed. Try to choose items with less packaging. Avoid individually wrapped snacks in vending machines - you can buy in bulk ahead of time. You will save money and the environment at the same time.

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Purchase recycled and reusable office materials

What If I Don't Work In An Office?
Find out more information about Industrial Materials disposal, recycling, and reduction methods.
Buy recycled and environmentally friendly paper. Purchase products in bulk to minimize excessive packaging, and use recharged cartridges for laser printers, copiers, and fax machines. Guidelines to help businesses purchase recycled materials can be found in EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.

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