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Help Reduce Workplace Waste with QR Codes

Did you know that the average UK office worker consumes 10,000 sheets of paper every year? And that 75% of that ends up in the waste paper bin? It’s not a promising statistic for any business looking to promote their sustainability credentials. And it’s not very nice for our environment either.

A sustainable workplace means better outcomes for the environment, for communities, and for business.

According to Business Leader, around 75% of office workers want their workplace to improve its sustainability policy. And an article for Forbes Magazine relayed that 64% of millennials were adamant they wouldn’t accept a job unless the employer had strong corporate social responsibility, and that 80% said they’d show greater loyalty to companies that contribute to social and environmental issues.

Investors also take into consideration the environmental and societal impact of a company before making any important financial decisions.

And of course, the less waste a company outputs, the more profit it generates. So it clearly makes good business sense to do whatever you can to reduce paper usage and workplace waste generally. And there’s a simple way of doing just that, courtesy of QR codes.

Your workplace waste reduction campaign – brought to you by QR code technology

There are countless spots around the office where waste can be reduced. Even though paper waste is one of the biggest issues, there are other areas that could use some consideration too.

Education is the key. Unfortunately for the typical everyday human, it’s not always second nature to know how to reduce waste, or to be aware of the implications for the planet of squandering resources (not to mention the implications for their employer’s bottom line).

With this in mind, our idea is to launch a workplace waste reduction campaign using QR codes. At every point around the office where there’s potential to reduce waste, put up a code. Employees scan the code with their smartphones to discover what they can do to be greener, right there and then.

As well as making individuals feel better about themselves for doing their bit, you could also incentivise the whole thing by offering rewards for eco-friendly practices. Maybe a prize for the team or department that’s cut their printing down the most this month, that sort of thing.

Here are a few ideas you could implement within your QR code office waste reduction campaign…

Waste bins

So you’ve implemented a set of bins for the different types of waste. Good job. But it’s not always clear to all what waste goes in what bin. And if someone inadvertently tips the remnants of their lunch into the recycling bin, pasta sauce and all, then that’s going to contaminate everything, and you’ve lost all the goodwill.

If too much potentially recyclable waste is contaminated, then it will end up being sent to landfill rather than made into something else.

So, as part of your waste reduction campaign, stick a QR code to every bin so people can scan it to see what they can safely put in there.

Printers and copiers

Your incentive can kick in here with a QR code sticker… ‘Wait – do you really need to print / copy this? Scan to discover your reward for cutting paper use.’

Maybe deliver a few shocking paper waste statistics on the other end of the scanned code too. It will help people see the real facts of this global problem.

Plus… you can always use QR codes to replace printed materials in a whole host of workplace settings, from human resources to asset management.

Lights and HVAC

If you’ve not got smart lighting or HVAC installed in your building, a reminder to turn lights, air con or heating off as you leave a room is a must.

Put up a QR code that employees can scan to learn how much energy is wasted by running utilities when they’re not genuinely needed. Or how turning the air con temperature up a couple of degrees or the heating or lighting down a notch or two can make a huge difference for the environment.


From only filling the kettle with as much water you need, to not leaving the fridge or freezer door open too long and avoiding leaving appliances on standby, there are plenty of waste reduction measures you can employ in workplace kitchens. So share them!

A QR code prompting kitchen users to scan and discover how they can help the environment with a few simple actions is all you need.

Office appliances

Outside the kitchen, office appliances left on standby can consume a heap of energy. In fact, they can use up to 50% of the energy they would during operation. There are all sorts of machines around the workplace that are often left on needlessly because people are nervous about switching something off they shouldn’t.

A QR code will help hugely with office waste reduction in this respect. Each machine has a code that anyone can scan to check whether they can turn it off safely. A red NO message means leave it on. An amber CHECK message means you can switch it off only with authorisation from management, and a green GO message means you can switch it off safely.

You can also use the QR codes to let people know whether there’s an energy saving setting on the appliance and encourage them to use it.

Ready to discover how QR codes can help with your office waste reduction strategy?

Bangl QR codes can be used to help office waste prevention in a number of ways, and with multiple benefits. From supporting your ESG strategy and reducing paper and energy waste, to making your organisation a more attractive proposition for inbound talent and investors, there is a lot to like.

Bangl QR codes are dynamic (you can change the information behind them any time and they’ll automatically update), multilingual (they’ll deliver your info in the default language of the device) and completely customisable (so you can totally make them your own). And our pricing plans are a breeze to navigate.

Reducing the paper waste crisis and making a contribution to global sustainability is as important to us as it is to you. It’s why we’ve chosen to reward our customers by planting two trees on your behalf for every Bangl purchased.

Interested in Bangl QR codes for waste reduction campaigns? Contact us to discuss customising your codes to fit your specific needs.

First published: 21stSeptember 2023 | Author: Anthony Kirrane.
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