Zero Waste Scotland has announced that more than a dozen organisations across Scotland will take part in a £1 million pilot project to ditch disposables.
The non-profit organisation will deliver 14 projects with a range of community partners over the next 12 months which will test alternatives to single-use disposable items.
The projects aim to tackle a range of single-use items, from coffee cups to water bottles and food packaging.
A range of organisations from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Caithness, Stirling, and East and West Lothian will trial the alternatives such as reusable and packaging-free options.
Supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the scheme is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme which plans to invest £73 million in circular economy and resource efficiency projects.
As part of the Ditching Disposables project, several coffee shops across Scottish towns and cities will introduce a deposit return scheme for reusable cups and separate charges for disposable cups.
Other projects will see single-use water bottles removed from sale and replaced with water fountains and cordial dispensers.
Another will trial a reusable event kit to be shared between the community and includes piloting reusable cups for drinks at events such as music gigs.
Zero Waste Scotland CEO Iain Gulland said: “Four fifths of our carbon footprint as a nation comes from the products and materials we consume. That’s a huge proportion, and single-use items are an entirely unnecessary part of that.
“Curbing our consumption habit is vital if we want to have a real impact on the climate emergency, so it’s fantastic to have so many organisations right across Scotland on board to look at what we can change to pioneer an alternative approach.
“This is a great example of how upscaling small changes can make a big difference. We know incentivising reuse works – and for businesses it’s a chance to respond directly to customer demand and open up new economic opportunities at the same time as cutting their carbon footprint.”
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