Australian start-up, Zero Co is calling on workplaces across the country to join its mission to end single-use plastic (SUP).

The Work Waste Challenge is gaining momentum with over 130 businesses pledging against SUP, including big names like Australia Post, Google and LinkedIn, alongside homegrown companies like Arnotts, Gumtree and Koala. Zero Co hopes to inspire 1,000 brands to join the mission before the end of Plastic Free July.

Every week, almost 2.5 million businesses in Australia buy and throw away SUP bottles, including hand wash and dishwashing liquid. Even with the correct office recycling system, the overwhelming majority (85%) of plastic in recycling bins still ends up in landfill, according to the 2020 National Waste Report.

Zero Co, producers of Australian-made, zero-waste personal care and home cleaning products, is encouraging businesses, large and small, to make a pledge to take action against SUP in the workplace and to ask employees to do the same in their own homes.

Zero Co founder, Mike Smith hopes to shine a light on the impact businesses can have on the plastic problem in Australia and believes the Work Waste Challenge is an opportunity to rally employees to tackle this issue.

“The idea is simple, businesses make a plastic-free pledge on our website, we share a staff discount code and set them up with an office starter pack (if they need one) with things like hand wash, multi-purpose cleaner and dishwashing liquid. Their business will be placed on our leader board to show how many SUP bottles they’re diverting from landfill and how many of their staff sign up to join our mission throughout the month,” he said.

Gumtree spokesperson, Eleni Gavalas, was among the first to make a pledge on behalf of the business.

“We’re excited to have pledged our support and to have joined the Work Waste Challenge. For over 14 years, we have helped Australians trade on Gumtree and embrace sustainable living by giving many items the chance of a new life. Our pledge to support Zero Co marks a step further in our ongoing commitment to encourage Australians to share more and waste less,” she said.

Joining the challenge means businesses won’t just reduce their office waste, they’ll also fund local ocean clean-ups and use eco-friendly products that get delivered carbon negative.

“This is the kind of immediate action we need from businesses around Australia. If we can get workplaces involved in tackling the plastic problem, it sets a great example for employees to take similar action in their homes too,” Smith added.