Professional Pest Controller Magazine Issue 103

13 May 2021

Ask the technical team May 2021


Plastic alternatives, carbon 'tyre-print', recycling and eco ideas are all covered in this green special issue of Ask the BPCA technical team.



  • What are your suppliers’ views on plastic waste?
  • Any business waste or recycling has to be disposed of via a commercial waste contractor
  • If you have vans, think about route planning
  • Get the whole team involved in being a bit greener every day.

Subject: Plastics

So many pest control products come in plastic packaging. How can we minimise plastic waste?

This is a challenge for every business and in some respects it’s not a sole person’s or business’s responsibility – we all need to contribute.

Legislators are scrutinising things like the packaging of the products you buy, and we may see a reduction in this soon.

It’s always worth having a chat with your suppliers to ascertain their views on plastic waste.

Identify all the products you use, from plastic bait boxes to disposable coffee cups in the office, and ask yourself some questions.

Do I need to use this particular item at all? If yes, is it currently recyclable or reusable? No? Then is there an alternative to the product I currently use which produces less waste or can be recycled?

Do you leave plastic bait boxes behind when a contract or job runs its course? Why? These are highly durable pieces of kit when looked after properly, so reuse them where you can.

Once you start looking at all the things you use in your day-to-day business, you might be surprised by how many of them you can find green solutions for.

Subject: Recycling collections

I have a small business, working from home. Can I use my cardboard and plastic bins outside my house?

Any business waste or recycling has to be disposed of via a commercial waste contractor that you pay for.

Imagine all UK businesses decided to take their waste and recycling home; there would be chaos!

Reduce all the waste you can. Recycle within your business as much as you can. Then, use a contractor for whatever is left.

Subject: Carbon ‘tyre-print’

I want to cut down my company’s carbon footprint, but we have pest techs driving around in vans all day. How can we do this?

The first task is to get an environmental policy written up.

This process in itself will help you formulate some plan. If you’re a BPCA member, you will have access to BusinessShield, where you can download a whole lot of guidance and templates for this.

Then, you need to look at what you do; what you can cut down on? Set some targets. For example, if you have a fleet of vans, why not look at better route planning?

Trackers are always good for this too, as you can be in more control of where your staff are and who is closest to a particular job, thus reducing travel and emissions.

If you can use public transport, consider this too (although perhaps wait to implement this until Covid restrictions are substantially lifted).

Subject: Eco ideas

How can we be greener?

There are many websites out there and environmental experts that can give you great support, so it is worth having a good look around.

Here’s some small ideas that can help the whole team get involved in being just a bit greener:

  • Get some more plants in your office or home to help ‘clean’ the air
  • Encourage staff to be green (and market your business at the same time) by giving them branded water bottles to refill
  • Take sandwiches to work? Why not use beeswax paper instead of cling film?
  • Make it a selling point: let your customers know that your pest control work has eco-friendly goals, eg you use reusable traps, you spray fewer pesticides, etc.
  • Social media nut? Blogging and encouraging others to do their part is always useful
  • What about some and eco-friendly and ethically-sourced uniforms?
  • Software investment can help reduce paper and those horrid plastic folders!
Are you a BPCA member with a technical question?

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