Environmental Awareness FAQs & Resources

As a leading provider of HR Compliance eLearning, our experts are often asked about Environmental Awareness. We've collected all of those questions and answered them for you below...

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Environmental Awareness FAQs

Are cigarette butts bad for the environment?

The filter part of a cigarette butt is actually made from cellulose acetate which is a type of plastic. This plastic is very slow as degrading in the environment. It can take from 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette butt to decompose. What’s more, filters contain toxins and tobacco which when they degrade and go into the ground or water can damage it severely.

Is it illegal to litter?

Littering can result in a large fine and people can be tried in a magistrates court for it. Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that it is a criminal offence to drop, throw, leave or leave litter in public. If caught it could result in a £2,500 fine.

What can I do to recycle more at work?

Paper is something that every office goes through a large amount of. Printing things double sided could reduce the amount of paper used as well as making sure that people are not printing things and then leaving them at the printer just to be thrown in the bin.

Look at what can be reused in your office and what can be reduced in usage or quantity. E.g. cardboard boxes, stationery, IT equipment like memory sticks.

Provide different recycling options and grow them over time. The options can grow from just paper and card to glass plastic, print cartridges, etc. They should also be spread around the office so that people do not have an excuse not to use them!

Why is a carpooling scheme at work a good idea?

Not to mention the extra options for car parking spaces, there are more benefits to carpooling. Schemes can be both informal and formal. Informal schemes can get people to ask friends/colleagues at work to lift share. Employers can also get involved by getting people together to see if people live near each other as in big companies, it might not be possible to ask each individual whether they want to car share.

More formal approaches are with schemes that work across the country like LiftShare and FreeWheelers.

What type of bins should we have in the workplace?

Some of the types of bins workplaces could have:

  • General refuse
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Cardboard
  • Printer Cartridges
  • Cans
  • Electrical equipment
  • Cigarette bins for outside

Where do I take my recycling from work?

If you need to find out your recycling collections date then follow this link.

Some workplaces only have collections that recycle certain recyclable materials. For examples, some recycling companies will not collect glass. So if you need to know where you can recycle these items you have 2 options, either you can take it home and recycle it there (if it is collected from your home). Or you can go to Recycle Now to find out where you can recycle specific items.

FAQs regarding our Environmental Awareness course

Why is this training important?

Being educated on what you can recycle, why it is important to look after your environment and what the effects of not looking after it are, everyone can work together in order to make improvements. It is our responsibility to reduce negative environmental impact in our day to day lives.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course takes 40 minutes to complete.

What legislation covers environmental training?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environment Act 1995 is relevant to this training. It states that people who handle, produce & dispose of waste have to make sure it is done safely and properly. Failure to comply can result in fines or even prison sentencing.

What approvals does the course have?

This course in IOSH & CPD Accredited.

How long is my certificate valid for?

It is up to the training administrator of the employee as to when training needs to be refreshed. However, to stay up-to-date with legislation, we recommend that training should be renewed every year.​

What devices is this course available from?

Our courses can be completed on a range of devices, they’re compatible with Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, iPads and other tablets

Documents and resources

  • Simple things that you can do…

    Sometimes we aren’t always sure what more we could be doing to help the environment. This guide is a helpful reminder of things that you could do that you may not be doing already.

  • Types of Plastic

    There are 7 types of recyclable plastic that you can get and only some of these will be collected by your local recycling collection services. It is important to check the types of plastic you are throwing into your recycling.

  • Waste Hierarchy Pyramid

    This waste hierarchy should be put up in the workplace as a reminder to employees of what to do with their waste. Think about whether you can prevent binning, or how you could reuse it.

Additional resources

Environmental Management System Checklist

With the UK committed to reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, it’s time to start considering your environmental impact to help your business become more efficient and stand out from the crowd.

Together with Citation, we've put together a free checklist to environmental management to help you get started on showcasing your business's commitment to being more environmentally friendly.

Made in Partnership with Citation

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