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Returnable packaging scheme launches for Highland businesses

Latest intervention from the Highland Community Waste Partnership supports the switch to reusables

Businesses across the Highlands are being invited to sign up to a free pilot of an innovative returnable packaging scheme.

The Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP) is working with German sustainable reusable packaging system Vytal to launch the scheme and hopes businesses across the area sign up.

Eleven billion items of packaging waste are generated each year in the UK by our on-the-go lunch habits and the Highland Community Waste Partnership aims to help reduce this, by promoting reusable alternatives as part of its #ChooseToReuse campaign.

The scheme will build on Keep Scotland Beautiful's Highland Cup Movement campaign, which used the same technology and infrastructure – saving more than 1,000 single-use cups from landfill.

Businesses in both urban and remote areas are invited to sign up for a chance to try out the QR-code-based app, which allows customers to choose reusable packaging at the point of sale, that can then be returned to any participating business.

From cups, to bowls, tubs and even pizza boxes, pilot participants will receive a pool of packaging of their choosing, as well as support with setting up and running the scheme. This will include staff training and campaign materials, to help ensure customers are engaged to use the scheme and #ChooseToReuse.

Ellie Campbell, Project Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Making the change from single-use to reusable products is essential if we are to reduce packaging waste and tackle the climate and litter emergency. Returnable packaging schemes are a key part of this, allowing for the spontaneity and convenience of food and drink ‘on-the-go’, without relying on disposable packaging or on consumers bringing their own reusables.

“This pilot will allow businesses across the Highlands to try out the scheme and encourage customers to #ChooseToReuse. The Highland Cup Movement was a great success  in showing the potential in the area for reusable and returnable packaging products.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more businesses sign up, helping to expand on this work and bring the Highlands one step closer to more conscious, circular and sustainable models of consumption.”

The pilot scheme is now open and will run until December 2024. Any businesses interested in getting involved can visit the HCWP web page for more information and to sign up.

This pilot is part of the HCWP’s Conscious Consumption campaign, which features a number of initiatives designed to help businesses reduce food and packaging waste.

Research, business feedback and key learnings from the Highland Cup Movement can be found in the legacy report.

27 June 2024

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