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Pilot project encourages reusable containers in Thurso

Thurso Community Development Trust (Thurso CDT) and Thurso High School are initiating an ambitious and trend-setting movement against single-use packaging among the pupils.

Over the academic year 2022/2023, only 4% of pupils remembered to bring their reusable container to Hospitality Classes every time, which resulted in the school having to give away over a thousand single use containers.

Even though potentially recyclable, the single use aluminium containers would need to be washed first and then put into the correct bin, when in reality, almost 100% of the food containers have been discarded still soiled into the general waste, according to the team of Thurso High School janitors.

This, together with other single-use packaging waste such as disposable water bottles and snack wraps, has posed a littering and waste issue on the school grounds.

Thurso CDT teamed up with Thurso High School to run a pilot project to introduce a reusable container scheme for the Hospitality classes, based on earning merits and prizes for returning the borrowed containers or remembering to bring their own.

As a member of Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP), Thurso CDT lead on the objective of promoting reusable packaging and fighting single-use items.

Oksana Latsiuta, HCWP Project Officer for Thurso CDT, said: "What we need to do is change behaviours. Responsible waste management has to become trendy and popular with our young people.

"That’s why the reusable container pilot project is only a part of a multifaceted campaign that will encompass all the pupils of Thurso High School, not only those who attend Hospitality classes."

The campaign includes raising awareness on the subject of single-use packaging and its harmful impact, promoting good recycling habits, competitions between the school houses, creative contests for all pupils, some changes in the administrative processes around informing parents about forgotten containers, creating a lot of engaging visual and digital content and of course – great prizes for the most active participants.

Pupils have lead the social media campaign themselves and a new Sustainability Committee, formed by the school prefects, have become creative designers of the #beasolution campaign.

For more information visit the Beasolution web page.

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10 March 2024

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