Plastic Free July: How PHA reduced its plastic pollution

Sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint has been an important focus for The PHA Group for a while now, and this year as part of our broader culture initiatives, we’ve created a dedicated staff team to work together on helping the business implement further changes that will see us become a truly sustainable business.

This team will help to ensure we think consciously about everything we do as individuals in our day to day jobs, but also how we act as an agency and how we collectively tackle sustainability across the wider business.  We want sustainability to be part of our ethos at PHA and make our people proud of our sustainability efforts.

Having already gone paperless in the office and increased our recycling capabilities in the past year, among other initiatives, we wanted to look at how we could continue our efforts while employees work from home.

This month’s focus has been on Plastic Free July, a global movement that helps millions of people reduce their plastic pollution to ensure we have cleaner streets, oceans and communities. This initiative is particularly important at this moment where single use plastic waste is increasing due to the pandemic, and so we had PHA employees make a pledge on what they would swap or give up during July – and perhaps beyond – to make their mark.

We had an overwhelming response from staff wishing to take part, committing to all sorts of pledges. Some popular pledges included:

  • Not buying coffee in takeaway cups or using unsustainable single-use coffee pods
  • Not buying bottled water and committing to using a sustainable water bottle
  • Committing to always bring a reusable shopping bag to the supermarket, and using light reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables too
  • Ditching cling films and using alternatives like beeswax wraps
  • Using a reusable straw rather than single-use ones
  • Giving up make up wipes and beauty products in plastic packaging
  • Only buying ingredients in sustainable packaging (or without any packaging)
  • Switching to a sustainable toilet paper brand that uses recycled or natural materials

During the month, we also had an education session for staff with Armelle Aurelya Ferguson, a sustainability columnist at Red Magazine, who shared her knowledge with us regarding ways to be more sustainable, highlighting common environmental impacts people may not know they are making regularly, and what needs to change at both an individual and business level to keep improving sustainability going forward.

In taking part in the initiative, PHA employees have contributed to the global effort to become more plastic aware and more environmentally friendly. They will have helped to:

  • Reduce household waste and recycling by 23kg per person per year (almost 5%)
  • Contributed to a total saving of 825 million kg of plastic waste this year
  • 9 out of 10 people who took part will have made changes that have become habits/a way of life beyond July

We are now looking forward to implementing further initiatives when we return to the office to keep reducing our carbon footprint as a business and ensure we do our bit to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our world.

If you’re a sustainable brand looking for PR, then check out our blog ‘How Can PR Help Your Sustainable Business?’ 

Get in touch with the team