The Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP) has teamed up with German company Vytal to pilot a returnable packaging scheme in Scotland, UK.  

The initiative aims to reduce single-use packaging waste and promote sustainable consumption by leveraging reusable containers. 

The scheme builds on the successful Highland Cup Movement campaign by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which utilised the same technology to prevent more than 1,000 single-use cups from ending up in landfill.  

The pilot offers a variety of packaging options, including cups, bowls, tubs, and pizza boxes, along with the necessary support for businesses to implement and manage the system effectively. 

Businesses are encouraged to participate in the pilot, which is currently open and will continue until December 2024.  

The scheme is designed to be inclusive, inviting businesses from both urban and remote areas to experience the QR-code-based app that facilitates the use of reusable packaging at the point of sale. 

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This initiative is a component of the HCWP’s Conscious Consumption campaign, which encompasses several projects aimed at assisting businesses in reducing food and packaging waste.  

Keep Scotland Beautiful project officer Ellie Campbell 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.”