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Highland Community Waste Partnership launches community refill schemes with the City to Sea Refill Campaign to reduce single-use packaging in the north of Scotland

By Alasdair Fraser

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Plastic litter is a blight on Scotland and the Highlands
Plastic litter is a blight on Scotland and the Highlands

Six new schemes to help reduce single-use packaging on-the-go have been launched in the Highlands.

The Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP), in collaboration with the City to Sea Refill Campaign, has acted on evidence that nine in 10 people in the Highlands are concerned about the amount of packaging generated by the things that we buy.

In response, as part of the Conscious Consumption campaign, the new schemes will promote refill and reuse in the area and help people reduce single-use packaging.

The six new schemes, run by partners of the HCWP, are:

Refill Inverness - Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop

Refill Black Isle - Transition Black Isle

Refill Thurso - Thurso Community Development Trust

Refill Ullapool - Lochbroom and Ullapool Community Trust

Refill Skye - Broadford and Strath Community Company

Refill Lochaber - Lochaber Environmental Group

Each scheme aims to increase the number of businesses currently displayed on the City to Sea Refill app, as well as promoting it to local consumers, encouraging them to download and use the app to easily find places offering refill options near them, helping them to #ChooseToReuse.

Ellie Campbell, Highland Community Waste Partnership project officer for Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We’re so excited about this initiative, which will help highlight and promote the good efforts of numerous businesses across the Highlands, who are playing their part in supporting more Conscious Consumption and helping people to choose to reuse.

“We’re currently facing climate, nature and litter emergencies, and a readily available way to address them all is to change the way we consume and move towards a circular economy, something which will now be easier in the Highlands thanks to our partners’ willingness to continue their work to tackle the consumption of single-use products.”

Refill was started by City to Sea as a campaign connecting people to free drinking water to tackle the problem of single-use plastic bottles but has now grown into a global movement with hundreds of Refill Schemes across the world. Refill is now the world’s first app to help people find locations to reuse and refill.

Jane Martin, CEO at City to Sea said: “Our Refill Communities are incredible groups of organised individuals powering the Refill Revolution in their local area. With their help, we have grown awareness of Refill from grassroots to global, from Japan to Jersey.

“From small, local community groups who want to reduce pollution where live, to NGOs, councils, and national governments who are representing Refill on a national level we welcome the highlands to our community and support their commitments to reduce waste and connect people to free-drinking water.”

Businesses who are already offering reuse or refill are being encouraged to engage with their local Refill Scheme for further information and support, while consumers interested in finding their nearest reuse and refill spots should download the app.

Find out more about the schemes and how to get involved here.

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