October 10, 2019 | Insights

We Banned Disposable Plastic Water Bottles. Here’s What Happened.

October 10, 2019 | Insights

Reducing the number of moves on the yard it takes to get the job done and using more fuel-efficient vehicles are two of the environmentally-conscious business practices we’ve always had in place at NSSL. But in 2017, we took a look around our office and realized there was a not-so-eco-friendly habit running rampant among our employees—the ubiquitous use of disposable plastic water bottles.

They were everywhere. Scattered across desks. Overflowing from recycling containers. While we were proud of our team for choosing to hydrate with water instead of soda or energy drinks, we knew something had to be done about all the unnecessary plastic waste. 

We made the commitment as a team to officially ban the plastic water bottle as an organization. We removed single-use bottles from our breakrooms and invested the cost savings into logo etched glass cups and reusable bottles. We placed refill stations in the office to give employees and visitors easy access to chilled, great-tasting, purified drinking water.

By eliminating disposable plastic water bottles, we freed up valuable storage space and wound up saving hundreds of dollars a month. At the time we made the change with 95 employees, we found that the savings totaled $600-$800 per month and we were preventing over 1,000 water bottles from entering the waste stream every single month. 

We’ve since nearly tripled our staff. If we were still allowing disposable plastic water bottles, we would see over $1,950 in monthly bottled water purchases, substantial additional storage requirements, and worst of all, more than 2,885 plastic bottles wasted every month!

This simple choice to change our habits has diverted more than 34,620 bottles from landfills and ocean waters in just one year. Imagine if just 10% of Canada’s 30 million businesses were to replace single-use plastic water bottles with reusable or waste neutral products? We’d be sure to see an immediate reduction in annual plastic waste output. At NSSL, we are proud to continuously improve our sustainability practices to make the world a better, greener place.