Introducing plastic-free Fridays: our Earth Day 2024 initiative

The image shows a colourful graphic with 'Earth Day' across the centre.

Sustainability remains a key global talking point for individuals and businesses. The construction industry is no exception to this, with sustainability an important consideration for most projects as we collectively work towards achieving net zero carbon.

Here at Harris, we’re proud to have taken a number of steps to reduce our own carbon footprint as a business in the construction sector – from switching to electric vehicles to contributing to a tree planting scheme. However, we’re always striving to do more and with the Earth Day 2024 theme of ‘Planet vs. Plastics’, we decided to challenge ourselves to a new initiative: plastic-free Fridays.


Plastic has become central to daily life, and is produced on a mass scale – which means mass waste with a direct impact on the planet.

With this in mind, and with consumers becoming more and more aware of greenwashing as opposed to actual change, we wanted to celebrate this year’s Earth Day with direct action. Plastic-free Fridays allows us to do just that, in a realistic way that makes the whole team stop and think about how much plastic we’re really using, and ways we can all reduce this.

Here’s how we’ve got on so far.


We’ve all embraced the challenge, coming up with a variety of ways to reduce our plastic consumption including:

  • Using glass containers for everyday household foods
  • Switching to plastic free and biodegradable dog waste bags
  • Using recyclable or compostable coffee pods in the office rather than plastic pods
  • Taking tote bags to the shop instead of buying new plastic ones
  • Using glass straws and reuseable bottles to avoid single use plastic ones
  • Getting glass bottles of milk delivered

Being mindful about avoiding the use of plastic meant we’ve been more aware of just how much plastic we come across in our everyday lives. Here’s a couple of things we noticed:

  • How much plastic is used in an average food shop from the supermarket
  • Recycling symbols on plastic aren’t consistent, making it confusing to know what can be recycled and how
  • Most plants and flowers are wrapped in plastic so this is unavoidable when gifted

What have we learnt?

Our plastic-free Fridays have already demonstrated what a complex issue plastic presents from a sustainability perspective.

While it’s great that so many of us were able to find alternatives to plastic for everyday items, it raises the question of how much we’re reusing the plastic we’ve already bought. In some cases we are – one member of the team repurposed single-use Tupperware as planters to prolong their use and avoid buying new plastic.

Several online resources suggest that this is one of the best ways to minimise waste, and it’s definitely something we’ll all be keeping in mind for plastic-free Fridays going forward. We hope that our team taking part in reducing their plastic consumption encourages you to think about your own plastic use and how small things really can make a difference.

Find out more about Earth Day here.

Harris » Introducing plastic-free Fridays: our Earth Day 2024 initiative