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Highland Cup Movement

What was Highland Cup Movement?

We celebrated the conclusion of Cup Movement® in the Highlands with the release of our legacy report and video.

More than 1,000 single-use cups were saved thanks to the innovative large-scale reusable cup pilot scheme in the Highlands which was linked to the route of the iconic NC500.

Cup Movement® in the Highlands ran from April to October 2023 and was designed to promote the use of reusable cups and reduce the number of takeaway drinks sold in single-use cups.

The pilot was one of six projects across the UK funded through the Bring It Back Fund, a £1.4 million fund from environmental charity Hubbub and Starbucks, and utilised innovative app technology from cup system suppliers Vytal.

During the pilot, a total of 1,051 cups were checked out by nearly 270 users, with a 92% return rate.  Across the 24 participating businesses there was a 27% increase in customers using their own reusable cup.

The participating businesses continue to accept customers' own reusable cups for takeaway drinks. 

While the majority of cups were returned to the same business they were borrowed from, some cups were returned at destinations across the NC500.  One cup, borrowed in Inverness, was returned to a business in Germany!

Find out more in our news story, our legacy report and video.   

Celebrating Cup Movement® in the Highlands



Enjoy our legacy video to see the highlights of the pilot and feedback from some of the participating businesses.  

For more detail, see our Cup Movement® in the Highlands legacy report. 

Businesses that participated in the Highland Cup Movement network still accept your reusable cup.

For the businesses continuing to work with Vytal, it is easy to borrow a Vytal cup.  All you need to do is download the Vytal app before you order your takeaway drink and either show your customer QR code or follow the steps on the Vytal app for self check-out. There is no additional cost if you return your cup within 14 days.  

The links below will take you to either the App Store or Google Play to download the Vytal app. You must have created an account on the Vytal app before you order a takeaway drink in a Vytal cup.

Your account will be linked with a payment method. If you do not return the cup within 14 days, you will be charged £4 and become the owner of the cup. There is no cost for borrowing a Vytal cup if you return it within 14 days.

* PLEASE NOTE: now that the pilot has ended, the number of businesses using the Vytal cups has reduced.  Please check the Vytal app for participating businesses or plan to return your cup to the business where it was borrowed. 

Returnable Packaging Pilot: A Highland Cup Movement Legacy

The Highland Community Waste Partnership has launched its latest intervention to reduce packaging waste and promote more #CosnciousConsumption.

Building on the success of the Highland Cup Movement, this pilot will give businesses the chance to try a returnable food and drinks packaging scheme for free.

By allowing customers to access reusables at the point of sale, schemes like this make it easier than ever to #ChooseToReuse and reduce the waste and litter created by single-use packaging.

The pilot is available between now and December 2024 and Highland businesses are invited to sign up, on a first come first served basis.

Find out more

Highland Cup Movement network

Find the businesses who participated in the Highland Cup Movement and will still accept customers own reusable cups for takeaway drinks.


The live counter below shows the number of single-use cups which have been saved at the businesses in the Highland Cup Movement network:

Find out more about the Highland Cup Movement


We began the project with research into the views of residents, visitors and businesses in the Highlands.  

Problem with single-use cups

Single-use cups are complex to recycle, resulting in most of them being incinerated or sent to landfill

Concern on single-use cups

There is an environmental cost in the production, transportation and waste collection of single-use cups.

Choose to reuse

Switching from a single-use to a reusable cup is an action you can take to reduce your environmental impact and can often save you money too 


Frequently Asked Questions

What was Cup Movement® in the Highlands?

Cup Movement® in the Highlands was a campaign designed to promote the use of reusable cups and reduce the number of takeaway drinks sold in single-use cups. To drive the change from single-use cups to reusable cups, the campaign encouraged customers to either take their own reusable cup or utilise a cup library service where customers could  download the Vytal app to borrow and return a reusable cup. The campaign connected a network of businesses (including cafes, a campsite, a bakehouse, delis, restaurants, mobile vans and visitor attractions) selling takeaway drinks in and around the NC500 route. A map of the participating businesses can be found on our website.

How can I get involved?

1. Download the Vytal app from the Apple or Google Play stores. 

2. Visit a business in the network (participating business numbers have reduced so please check for locations).

3. BORROW: Ask for your drink in a Vytal cup and show your customer QR code to staff in one of the participating businesses.

4. ENJOY your drink.

5. RETURN your cup : either to the business you purchased the drink from or another business in the network. If the cup is returned within 14 days, there will be no cost for the cup.

6. The cup will then be washed, ready to be checked out again … and REPEAT.

Do I need to download an app?

Yes… the Vytal app can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play stores. The app helps us to keep track of how many single use cups are being replaced. You can see the live counter on the campaign webpage above. Make sure to download the app while you are in an area that has Wi-Fi or good 4/5G coverage. We recommend doing this at the beginning of your journey. Once you have the app, take a screenshot of your customer QR code so you are ready to check out a cup when you get to your stop.

What if I don’t have mobile reception?

Download the Vytal app while you are in an area with Wi-Fi or a good 4/5G signal and take a screenshot of your customer QR code. With that screenshot in your apple wallet or photo gallery, you can happily check cups in and out regardless of signal. 

Why do I need to enter payment details into the Vytal app?

As there is no deposit to borrow the cup, the payment details act as a method of security. We want the cups to stay in circulation as much as possible. However, if the Vytal cup is not returned to a partner business within 14 days, £4 (per cup) will be debited from your payment method. The Vytal cup is then yours to use privately. If you do return the cup after that time, it will become part of the system again.

Order your drink and show your customer QR code.

Tip: save your customer QR code in Photos on your phone in case you are in an area with poor connectivity.

Server scans the QR code from the customer and the cup

Convenient return. Scan and return without having to queue.

Get in touch

For any enquiries, please email

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