Skip to Content

5 Ways Assuri­ty is Part­ing with Plastic 

Easy tips to cut some plastic from your life and why it matters.

By Rebecca Svec, Content Writer


Lisa refills her reusable water bottle at Assurity

When Lisa, Assurity Life Claims Analyst and Sustainability Taskforce Coordinator, buys yogurt, she purposely passes over the one-serving sizes that are so handy in a packed lunch. Instead, she buys a large size of her favorite brand and portions it out at home into reusable containers. Lisa also looks for jumbo containers of cleaning and hygiene products, and she wants to try a bar shampoo to replace the bottled version.

These are just a few steps Lisa takes to use less single-use plastics at work and home – steps almost anyone can try - and better sooner than later. The Earth Day organization has put its spotlight on the health and environmental costs of plastic use, making ‘Planet vs. Plastics’ the current theme for Earth Day and efforts year-round.

It’s an effort Assurity has long supported. As a Certified B Corporation since 2015, we work to reduce plastic use and increase plastic recycling as part of our company culture, Lisa said.

“Every effort counts,” she said, a message the Sustainability Task Force emphasizes as they educate Assurity associates on green practices for work and home.

Consider that the average American purchases about 13 water bottles per month, meaning one person using a reusable water bottle can eliminate the use of 156 plastic bottles annually.1

Here’s a quick read on the troubles caused by single-use plastic products, the steps we take at Assurity Center to reduce our plastic load and some simple changes one can try at home to do the same.

Plastic Problems

Although plastics have changed the world in valuable ways – like helping create life-saving medical devices, computers and lighter automobiles – the Earth is drowning in the single-use version. In summer, trash cans overflow with plastic pop and water bottles at outdoor events; they litter arena floors when indoor concerts or games clear out in the winter.

Single-use plastics account for roughly half of the 300 million tons of plastic produced globally every year.2 Less than 10 percent of the plastic waste generated worldwide is recycled.3

Worldwide, 5 trillion plastics bags are used yearly.4 Of all plastic waste produced, millions of tons will escape into the ocean annually.

Reversing those numbers takes effort at work and at home.

Recycling at Assurity

“Assurity has promoted recycling for decades,” Lisa pointed out. Today, it’s a visible part of our workplace. Here are 5 efforts you might notice in our home office in Lincoln, Nebraska:

  • Compostable to-go cartons in place of plastic or Styrofoam containers in our on-site cafeteria and coffee bar. (And we’re researching a switch to plant-based compostable straws that can enrich soil as they decompose.)
  • Refreshing dispensers of cold water in the cafeteria, which reduce the number of times we reach for the bottled version
  • Water and ice machines on each floor
  • Refillable glasses and Fill-It-Forward water bottles, provided to each associate
  • Bins in each workspace to help keep recyclables out of the trash, purposely designed with a large area for recyclables and a small section for trash.

Outdoors, associate volunteers pick up litter once a week along the Antelope Valley trail adjacent to the Assurity Center. “Being next to the creek, hopefully we’re stopping some of that plastic from getting into the waterway,” Lisa noted.

“Sometimes bikers or people walking will stop and thank us.” She guesses a third of the waste collected is plastic.

Watch our video about recycling at Assurity.

Recycling at Home

There are many ways big and small to cut some plastic out of your life, including these 10 suggestions:

  • Buy bulk foods and products with less packaging.
  • Use (and remember!) recyclable bags when you go shopping.
  • Avoid single-use plastics like drinking straws.
  • Pick mints over gum (one of gum’s key ingredients is plastic).
  • Replace plastic sandwich bags with reusable lunch and snack containers.
  • Ditch plastic produce bags and bring your own container.
  • Give up, or buy less, plastic-bottled water and beverages. Carry your own drink container instead.
  • Shop Farmers Markets.
  • Buy milk in returnable glass bottles.
  • Use powdered dishwasher detergent in a box.

Those are just a start. If you want to take recycling up a level, try bringing your own containers to grocery stores for deli items, or asking the pizza place not to use the “little table” found in to-go boxes. Once you start looking, you’ll see ways to reduce plastics everywhere, Lisa said.

She recommends an audio book: How to Give up Plastic by Will McCallum. It shares basic tips as well as scenarios one might not think of, like how to host a children’s party sans plastic.

Whatever efforts we choose to do, it may spur others to follow suit, she said. “Anything visible we do to help use less plastic can encourage others to do the same.”

Learn more about Assurity's impact.

1. Earth Day Fact Sheet, Single-Use Plastics, 2022
Environmental Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, December of 2023
United Nations Development Programme web article, November of 2023
4., 2024