Stripe OLT dramatically reduce plastic bottle usage and improve staff wellbeing

Published on in Energy and Efficiency by Reka Sardy.

Stripe OLT were recognised at the Go Green awards for their efforts which resulted in reducing single plastic water bottle waste across two sites. Read on to find out from Reka at Stripe OLT how they did and how your business could do the same.

"We estimate that as a result of this initiative, we are reducing our plastic bottle waste by 80 bottles per month in our Bristol office (40 per month in London.)"

Many of our employees drink sparkling water, and we were previously providing bottled still and sparkling water to ensure our staff kept hydrated whilst at work. This however resulted in an enormous amount of plastic waste, as well as making us responsible for significant transport costs and carbon emissions further up the supply chain.

“Having filtered water and personalised bottles has almost doubled my daily water intake.”

We kicked off a review of our water supply, taking the view that ceasing to supply the sparkling and still water would simply shift the problem, as our staff would almost certainly continue to buy plastic bottles. We also did not want to take the risk of our staff reducing their water consumption and thereby compromising their wellbeing.

“The BIBO means you can have tea almost instantly!”

How we did it

After reviewing/auditing the cost of our original setup, we researched some alternative options, looking at initial implementation costs and long term savings.
There was no single solution that would address all of our needs, from reducing plastic waste to providing sparkling water. We therefore opted for a combination of tactics:

1. We bought a BIBO machine to provide chilled, filtered still water and filtered boiling water
2. We bought a Soda Stream to make sparkling water in-house
3. We purchased a personalised metal bottle for every member of staff to ensure that they did not need to bring plastic bottles into the office.

Before settling on the BIBO machines, we considered installing a filtered water tap, but this would have involved considerable disruption in the form of remodelling in the kitchen. Brita water filter jugs were also in the running, but our small refrigerator meant that was not the right fit for our needs either.

Feedback from staff is very positive, with many telling us that they drink more water, as their bottle is kept in the office and is always available for them to use.

We also estimate that as a result of this initiative, we are reducing our plastic bottle waste by 80 bottles per month in our Bristol office (40 per month in London.) Visitors are offered water in glasses rather than plastic cups, and tea/coffee in branded mugs. We are also monitoring our energy consumption to ensure that the BIBO is not costing more to run than the old kettle, and so far indications are positive.

We were thrilled when, on top of all the positive feedback from staff and the reduction of our plastic waste, we were recognised at the Go Green Awards earlier this year, winning a water audit to further help us in our quest for sustainability.