Meal delivery service in Thurso launches new reusable packaging pilot.

On 26 September Thurso Community Development Trust (Thurso CDT), part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP) launched a pilot to introduce reusable packaging to the Meal Delivery Service they run. This pilot aims to reduce the carbon footprint and wastage from the service. They used to deliver both a main course and a dessert in biodegradable tubs, in a disposable paper bag, which resulted in a significant amount of single-use packaging items being sent to landfill. Thurso CDT wanted their service to not only to be convenient but also environmentally friendly, so they looked for a better solution.

They chose reusable plastic containers as the alternative. The meals are generous portions and the customers often divide them into two helpings and warm the second part of the meal in the microwave. Sometimes Thurso CDT batch cook and freeze meals, and all containers are washed in a dishwasher, hence the containers needed to be microwave, freezer and dishwasher proof. Plastic was the best option as it is light and less breakable compared to glass. The containers that were purchased in IKEA were just a blank canvas, and were branded for Thurso CDT by a local crafter Jane Powers from Scotch Gifts. 

Reusable thermal insulated bags were procured from a small UK based business called Ecochic. Their bright and cute patterns bring smiles to the faces of their customers while reducing the carbon footprint of the project and the amount of waste sent to landfill.

These insulated lunch bags are made from recycled plastic bottles and were ordered via the local Kiln Store. Thurso CDT then used a badge machine, which was kindly donated by Miriam Nicol, to produce branded badges to put on the bags. 

The meals are cooked, served and delivered by amazing, devoted and diligent volunteers and Thurso CDT were delighted to see how all parties and volunteers were passionate, driven and really determined to make this pilot happen. They are so grateful to everyone involved, and without each and every one of them, this launch wouldn’t have taken place!

Oksana Latsiuta, HCWP Project Officer for Thurso CDT, said: There are many aspects of this pilot that I am delighted with. Certainly, the primary objective was to introduce reusable packaging to contain our meals, and I am confident that this change is welcomed and will be supported by our customers. However, what makes me particularly proud about launching this pilot, is how it brought together so many people in our community who all felt passionate about not just making Thurso CDT Meal Service more sustainable and green, but also giving this experience of something special, something exciting to look forward to for our senior customers. Wherever we could, we sourced all products and services locally within our community, to make this project sustainable and support a circular economy.

Thurso CDT's capacity allows them to increase the number of customers using the Meal Service and they welcome new subscriptions, more information can be found here.

06 October 2023


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