Officeworks has long understood the importance of recycling, offering free recycling services to customers, including ink and toner, IT equipment and mobile phone recycling. In addition, Officeworks has an internal focus to continue to increase the amount of waste recycled, and for the 2018 financial year set an ambitious target to recycle at least 80 per cent of the company’s waste, which included waste generated at stores, distribution centres and support centres.
Starting the year at 73 per cent, Officeworks was able to increase its recycling rates to 76 per cent, diverting a total of 4,359 tonnes from landfill. Whilst this was short of the full year target, there were some positive results. A quarter of Officeworks stores, 39 in total, achieved recycling rates above 80 per cent for the full year. The two largest distribution centres, in Victoria and Sydney, also achieved the target, with Laverton increasing their monthly average recycling rate from 69 per cent in July 2017 to 85 per cent in June 2018.
Officeworks identified the areas where more work was required. To increase recycling rates at the support centre, Officeworks implemented new recycling streams such as coffee cup recycling, organic waste collection and soft plastic recycling. To assist underperforming stores, Officeworks reduced collection frequency of general waste services which helped to encourage team members to dispose of waste in the correct bins, resulting in an increase in recycling rates of 5 per cent at these sites.
In the 2019 financial year, Officeworks will increase the target of recycling across the business to 85 per cent, and will continue to investigate ways to support all sites to achieve higher rates, including reducing impacts from product packaging. Officeworks phased out single-use plastic bags in 2008, and in June 2018 relaunched its customer shopping bag, which is now 100 per cent recycled and FSC-certified, and will continue to look at ways their product packaging can be more sustainable.
In addition, Officeworks will continue to offer free recycling programs for ink and toner cartridges, IT equipment and mobile phones, whilst exploring new ways to help customers make a positive difference by recycling unwanted items at their local Officeworks store.