We all impact our environment every single day.
While society has known this for a while, it has only been in recent years that people have started to act. We are witnessing environmental damage like never before, with extreme weather and our seas littered with plastic. We can’t continue to bury our heads in the sand.
Businesses are under a lot of pressure to change their ways. In many cases, this is a tough task, yet vitally important. At Doozy, we have set some environmental pledges of our own. We are not alone. According to a study by Lloyds Bank, 64% of small/medium business owners want to improve their environmental sustainability.
From reducing paper use to swapping throwaway cups for mugs in the office, there are many ways we have reduced our carbon footprint. One of the most beneficial is the introduction of eco-roast coffee. This innovative company collect our used coffee grounds and use them as fuel for the fresh coffee beans. Our operations team have made a difference with efficient ways of packing and working, and our vending machines are of course of the highest energy rating. Our machines are housed in sustainable wood and by using freeze-dried milk we reduce waste here. In addition, we seek out local suppliers including Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, Dorset Flapjacks and 918 Coffee, all based a short drive away.
As the New Year begins, here are 5 Doozy environmental pledges in the pipeline for the next 5 years.
It is not just plastic that needs looking at. Offices get through a ton a paper every year. For the last few years, we have used a Shred-It bin. This eco company collect all our used paper and take it to be securely shredded and recycled. We want to go further than this. We’ve been experimenting with laser cutting machines. This means burning into wooden cut-offs to create our labels for our Doozy machines. The wood we use comes from sustainable forests and we are often left with extra bits. Using the cut-offs as labels we will be able to eliminate the old technique. Currently, we print our labels and stick them on the machines. But these laser cutters take away the need for label printer paper and ink. The laser machine also uses a small amount of electricity.
Our Doozy operators need reliable vans for them to take stock to various sites. Over the years we have developed efficient routes, designed for them to take the shortest possible journeys. The next step is to swap our standard vans with electric. This swap will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Electric vehicles have far less impact on the environment because they have zero exhaust emissions. 1 electric charge could accommodate one whole days driving for an operator. Typically, electric vehicles are produced in an environmentally friendly way and have fewer maintenance issues.
Overcoming problems with single-use plastic is a huge hurdle for us. Industries across the country, from retail to education, and of course vending are all seeking out ways to limit single-use plastic. We want to be able to offer a vending solution free from plastic drink containers, non-recyclable snack packets and of course single-use coffee cups.
Drink containers do have alternatives to plastic. Often favoured is the aluminium can. They contain more recycled content and are recycled far more often than plastic bottles. From a convenience perspective they have to be consumed in one sitting, as unlike plastic, they don’t have a lid. Although some clever manufactures have thought of that, they now produce a bottle can. A few brands have adopted this new way of packaging. Currently, they cost more than alternatives but with new research and further adoption, we expect it to be used more widely.
Snack packaging is more problematic. Plastic is excellent for freshness; other materials don’t match up. Research is developing here too. Crisp packets, for example, can be recycled. But they have to be sent to specific locations. Some companies have started to collect them, to try and combat the amount that ends up at the dump. We hope that over the next few years, as the plastic conversation heats up, new materials will start to be used. This will then become a factor in which products we choose to add to the Doozy menu. A single-use plastic-free vending option is not a task we can achieve on our own. But as manufacturers aim for more sustainable materials, we will be able to provide it.
Now we haven’t forgotten about single-use cups… but they deserve a paragraph of their own….
Coffee has become hugely popular in the UK. With a coffee shop (or 3!) on every high street and coffee vending machines in wide use across the county, it is easy to see how far this love for coffee has spread. But with it, so has the use of single-use coffee cups. Contrary to what some believe, these cups are not easy to recycle. They contain a plastic lining which has to be stripped and recycled separately. This process can only be done at a handful of centres in the country. All those coffee cups you’ve put in recycling bins? Yep, they are most likely in landfill right now. In fact, on average a tiny 1% are recycled.
Now for the good news.
Research has come on a long way as manufacturers have rushed to find eco-friendly alternatives. Our vending cup suppliers have been trialling a cup which can be recycled via any recycling bin. We could be introducing this cup to our machines by the end of 2020, watch this space! Interestingly, we have also seen a rise in the number of people using reusable cups in our vending machines which is even better. Our Doozy vending machines are designed to fit different sized cups, all reusables are welcome.
We already recycle at Doozy but we know we can do more. Our bins are simply too full at the end of the week. From food waste to coffee cups we want to reduce our waste by half. Working with our staff we will look at how we can do this, continuing to head towards a zero-waste business.
Across the globe we are starting to accept that now is the time to act on climate change. It will not be easy, but change is happening. These are our Doozy environmental pledges for the next 5 years.
Here’s to a brighter future!