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In recent years, plastic has rapidly entered the spotlight as one of the serious environmental issues we need to tackle. Australia produces over 78 million tonnes of solid waste each year, with only half of that waste sent to recycling.
At SMCT, we understand that big impact starts with small steps, which is why we are eager to do our bit in reducing our use of disposables.
In 2021, we launched an initiative that saw every employee at SMCT receive a Keep Cup in order to reduce the volume of disposable cups thrown away at the morning coffee run. We have since made it a part of the induction process to ensure all new employees have a reusable alternative from day one.
Customers are also encouraged to bring their reusable cups, but for the moments that is not an option, we have set up dedicated coffee-cup recycling stations for disposable cups and lids.
Our plastic-reduction efforts continue, with our hospitality team now setting their sights on eliminating and reducing takeaway containers.
Over the last few weeks, the team have been busy distributing colourful new bento boxes to each and every employee, in the hope we can make disposable lunch containers a thing of the past.
These pop-up silicone containers have been a hit, with employees now able to grab takeaway lunch from our dedicated employee cafeteria, Staff HQ, in a much greener way.
‘We expect the adoption of reusable coffee cups, water bottles and lunch containers to reduce our café’s use of disposable containers by up to 70%, diverting a significant amount of waste from landfill,’ said Kylie Kearney, Hospitality Services Manager.
‘They are also a daily reminder about the simple things that we can each do to make a difference.’
While they may seem like small initiatives, we know that change begins at home, and the introduction of both the bento boxes and reusable cups will allow us to continue to move forward in our efforts to reduce waste and contribute to a sustainable environment for our community.
‘Our hospitality team is really passionate about these environmental initiatives,’ said Kylie. ‘SMCT staff have shown great interest in supporting these new ways of grabbing coffee and lunch each day and the uptake has been very pleasing to see.’
The bento box program has taken roughly five months to deliver, with the containers now distributed to employees company wide.
We thank our hospitality team for driving this initiative and for the daily reminder that big change often starts with small steps. We look forward to continually discovering new ways to do our bit for the planet.