Global facility management company fights plastic pollution with switch to reusable bin bags

by Sophie Berrill
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A leading workplace experience and facility management company has decided to trial reusable bin bags to reduce its reliance on single-use plastics.

As part of its net zero sustainability strategy, ISS Netherlands piloted the reusable bags at PwC, one of its major accounts. 

The bags came all the way from Australian B Corp social enterprise TOMbag.

“One of the world’s biggest sources of single-use plastics are single-use trash bags,” says TOMbag co-founder Sasha Pestano. 

“Facility management companies are major buyers of these single-use plastics.”

ISS purchases millions of single-use waste bags every year, according to representatives. This accounts for more than 70 percent of all the disposable plastics the company uses.

As a member of the Dutch Plastic Pact, an initiative dedicated to the circular economy for plastics, ISS wanted to eliminate as many of the disposable bin liners as possible.

“Reducing our use of single-use waste bags became one of our main objectives in the battle against single-use plastics,” ISS Facility Services Netherlands’ sustainability lead Danique Lindner says.

A successful experiment

During the 10-week pilot, the bags lined bins at PwC’s reusable cup return stations in employee canteens.

By all accounts, the pilot at ISS Facility Services in the Netherlands has been a success.  

Cleaning staff in particular were satisfied with the concept.

“They found that TOMbags are easy to use and clean. You just need some water and after drying, they are ready to be reused,” says Lindner.

Continuing the roll-out

The pilot results showed the switch helped save somewhere between 17 and 33 kilograms of single-use plastic for each return station per year.

Based on these results, ISS Facility Services intends to upscale the use of TOMbags. 

It plans to roll them out across reusable cups return stations for PwC offices in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

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