“We recognise that the littering of elastic bands is a potential threat to wildlife and the environment and a cost to our business. During 2017–18, we will be running a high-profile campaign to encourage our people to re-use elastic bands,” said Royal Mail.
The report, however, added that the natural-rubber content of elastic bands means that they start to biodegrade in an outdoor environment within a year.
Last year, Royal Mail said it managed to reduce the number of elastic bands purchased by 8%. This reduction, it said, was achieved by employees “reusing elastic bands as much as possible.”
The company is also targeting its supply chain: requiring suppliers bidding for its elastic band contract to be a member of Sedex, a non-profit ethical auditing organisation.
“Membership of Sedex enables us to more closely track suppliers’ environmental, social and governance performance and undertake audits if necessary,” Royal Mail explained.