For almost 2 years not, I have worked at a small shoe store on King Street. Despite the small size of the store, I never fail to be shocked by how much trash is accumulated in the small time frame we are open from 10 am to 7 pm.
Each box we have is lined with a few layers of tissue paper, and each shoe is stuffed with wads of the tissue paper. In the box, the shoes are placed and tissue is then put in the spots between the shoes so that they do not move around too much while stored on shelves. When someone buys a pair of shoes, all of this, and usually the boxes are simply throw away. I constantly think how much paper could be saved if we were to reuse this tissue paper instead of just dispose of it after every purchase. On top of boxes and tissue paper, we also have tags, packaging for accessory items, cups, napkins, and more that are thrown away each day. Each day, we throw away 2 or 3 trash bags full of paper!
With busy season coming up, this waste is only going to get worse. To combat this, I talked to my manager and we are now making an effort to recycle more. Shifts during the summer can get hectic and separating recycling can get hard, so I have made a recycling bin to place right behind the door in our back room, so that is easily accessible from the sales floor. I hope our employees begin to get in the habit of recycling all of our boxes and paper products, in an effort to cut down on our tremendous waste.
Great way to be proactive, Rachael!
The retail industry does seem to produce a lot of trash. Even when you get a normal package in the mail for yourself there seems to be a lot of trash. I think it is great that you took initiative and began recycling these materials!