The war on plastics – how can you tackle plastic overuse in your workplace?

Here’s an interesting, if slightly depressing fact: Every bit of plastic ever made still exists today. It’s a material that is made to last, but the majority of products made with plastic are only used once and then tossed in the bin without further thought. This consume, waste, replace culture is doing serious damage to our planet, as it turns out plastic takes at least 450 years to decompose. This month is Plastic Free July, so we’re here to let you know why you should seriously rethink your plastic consumption and give you some handy tips on how to get reducing, reusing and recycling and spread the word in your workplace.

Plastic is not so fantastic

This week new research from US scientists hit the headlines, revealing that by 2015 humans had produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic, of which 6.3 billion tons has become waste. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The study also revealed that of this amount of the plastic (which weighs the equivalent of one billion elephants), a mere 9% was recycled. So where is it all? 

An environmental nightmare

In 2015 12% of plastic produced was incinerated and the other 79% was sent to landfill or ended up in our natural environment. This is devastating news for our oceans, where more than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped every year, resulting in 1 in 3 marine species being found entangled in litter and over 90% of sea birds being found with plastics in their stomachs. 

What can you do?

Now before you shed a tear for the poor sea turtles and then turn to buy your next plastic bottle of water, think about this: there is a lot you and your colleagues can do to help solve this waste crisis. We’ve listed a few useful tips below. 

Ditch plastic bottles

Get yourself a reusable bottle and a re-usable coffee cup for grabbing a hot or cold drink on the go, whether that’s on the way to work or in between meetings. Across all of our Jump sustainability engagement programmes we reward employees who make the switch to reusable bottles and cups with individual and team prizes.  

Shop sustainably

Get yourself a reusable shopping bag, carry it with you everywhere you go and commit to never using a plastic bag again! So whether you’re on your lunch break or popping out for a mid-morning snack, you won’t fall into the trap of using excess plastic bags and gathering a guilty stash under your desk. Better still, avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. There are a lot of sustainable options emerging such as laser labelling and products with reduced plastic packaging.  

Choose to re-use

When you use plastic products, make sure to always re-use and recycle them. A lot of plastics can be a useful addition to your kitchen cupboards, such as plastic takeaway boxes and pots which can be used for storing leftover food or as a lunchbox. There are plenty of ways to reuse plastics, but if you really can’t find a way, you can always recycle. Make sure to check what your options are for recycling in your workplace, so you can do your bit in the office as well as at home. Our Jump employee engagement programmes have waste saving modules that encourage employees to recycle more and waste less, as well as promoting wider environmental messages and sustainability events taking place within the organisation. By incentivising employees we achieve lasting behaviour change.

Check out our Jump website to find out more about how you could incentivise your staff to engage in sustainability. In the meantime, get on board with boycotting plastics!

Our solutions

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Bethany Fruen

Head of Communications

Bethany Fruen

Since joining Jump fresh out of university back in 2013 I’ve seen many changes in the way we communicate – both as a company and more widely within the sustainability industry. The current shift of sustainability to the mainstream is accelerating at a pace and it’s exciting to be part of this step change.  The insight I get from individual participants in our client programmes is invaluable as it helps me figure out the best way to get our messages across.

My team and I use digital communications to recognise individual and team success, providing information in a fun, meaningful way that encourages people to take action. It’s about creating a feedback loop where people see that their actions are having an impact and this is very powerful in creating positive change within an organisation.


Lawrence Mitchell

Change Management

Lawrence Mitchell

I am Chief Customer Officer of SumoSalad, former Chief Marketing Officer at RELX: Risk & Analytics and Founder of RAW Energy. Having worked in publishing for 20 years, living through the first phases of the digital revolution, I’m used to disruption, uncertainty and transformation. But through all of this, my belief in putting the customer at the heart of an organisation by leveraging data analytics has helped multiple brands innovate, evolve and transform. 

I’m a huge advocate for promoting wellness in the workplace which is central to our Jump mission, and created the award-winning RBI Living Well programme. Through my RAW Energy platform, I support business and community leaders to be more resilient, more authentic and more focused on wellbeing.  A regular contributor to marketing, customer experience and wellness forums, I’ve written three books including Success without Stress: How to Prevent Burnout and Build Resilience for Optimal Health & Performance. 

Mark Lance

Finance & Company Secretary

Mark Lance

I helped Graham set up Jump in 2011 and it’s great to be involved in such a dynamic, growing business where I can apply my specialism in corporate compliance to ensure we are meeting our statutory and financial obligations.  I am an associate of the Association of International Accountants (for whom I also act as a quality advisor) and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators. 

Alongside Jump, I’m a director of Cornhill Group, a corporate service business in London advising the boards of businesses in a wide variety of sectors including shipping, energy, media and aviation, and I’m also a director of a global energy trader. 

Rob Metcalfe

PR & Marketing

Rob Metcalfe

Alongside Jump, I’ve been helping clients get their message across for over 30 years,
most recently as chief executive of Richmond & Towers, the longest
established public relations consultancy in the UK.  A Chartered Marketer,
I’m increasingly helping clients frame their message around sustainability,
particularly in food, waste and energy. The Guardian once described me as being
the “evil genius who got us all hooked on avocados”, a claim I don’t deny.

Since helping Graham get Jump set up in 2011 I’ve enjoyed communicating about a
subject where there is a great willingness among companies and individuals to
do the right thing,  but understanding what practical action to take isn’t
always obvious. 

Graham Simmonds

Chief Executive

Graham Simmonds

As CEO of Jump I lead a talented team of professionals committed to sustainability and wellness.  For much of my 35 year career I’ve been immersed in environmental issues, particularly how to engage people in practical action.  Previously I built Trees for Cities from start-up to a global, award-winning charity as its founding chief executive, and I loved developing new initiatives such as The Edible Playground and the Million Trees Campaign.  

In 2011 I set up Jump as I felt organisations large and small want to motivate action amongst their people around wellbeing and the planet, and a professional team dedicated to this purpose would help them accelerate their journey.  I’m also proud to chair the Reward Gateway Foundation which supports organisations and projects that address inequality and disadvantage, with the ultimate mission of making the world a better, fairer, safer and more equal place to work.