Today the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. While plastic may be a convenient and versatile material, it’s absolutely critical to minimize the negative impact its production has on the environment by disposing of it properly, which usually means recycling it. Of course, there are several common but easily preventable mistakes that businesses make that just cause more environmental damage and destruction. Here are just a few crucial mistakes to avoid in order to prioritize the Earth and recycle materials properly in any business environment.

Not reusing materials when possible.

While some plastics and materials are made for one-time use, there are just as many, if not more, that can be reused countless times. For example, there are countless commercial uses for jars, and instead of getting in the habit of disposing of them after one use, develop a protocol that allows them to be reused before getting recycled. Not only does this reduce waste, but it can save your business money on materials as well. Again, there are countless commercial uses for jars and industrial plastic containers — you just have to get creative.

Not keeping the recycling bin right next to the trash bin.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it makes a difference. Putting the two next to each other is the best reminder when it comes to looking at the waste you’re about to dispose of and determining whether or not it’s recyclable plastic or other material. If recycling isn’t nearby, employees will just cut corners and throw everything away, even if it’s recyclable. Sad, but true. Make it easy for them to be environmentally conscious by keeping a recycle bin next to any and every single trash can in your work environment. People will certainly take note and make better decisions as a result.

According to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), 5,764 million pounds of PET bottles and jars were available for recycling in 2013. About 85% of those bottles are used for food and beverages, or 4,899 million pounds. Regardless of the types of materials your work environment demands, it only takes a little bit of effort to avoid these mistakes and make sure employees are making environmentally responsible decisions.