21st February 2020

Caithness Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be working with Zero Waste Scotland to deliver three pilot projects in Caithness throughout 2020. The Chamber, working in partnership with Thurso Community Development Trust, joins more than a dozen other organisations throughout Scotland in delivering these pilots as part of the “Ditching Disposables” project and will be the only delivery partner in the Highlands & Islands.

Focusing on reducing consumption of single-use items, the pilot projects will consist of:

  • A deposit return scheme for reusable cups in Thurso and Wick town centre
  • Working with two major events to reduce use of disposable items
  • Single-use reduction at a large employer in the area

In addition to the pilot projects, the Chamber will also be seeking to work with its members to assist them in delivering their own projects. It will also be undertaking a programme of community engagement to help raise awareness of the concerns surrounding disposable items, recycling, and the wider issues of sustainability.

The programme is supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said:

“This is a real win for both the Chamber and the North Highlands. As the only delivery partner in the Highlands & Islands we have a unique opportunity to help demonstrate the unique challenges and opportunities that this region faces.

“Sustainability is a key policy priority for Scottish Government and it is clear that reducing consumption of single-use items is likely to be enforced through legislation in the years to come. By providing an evidence base for how these sorts of projects work in a remote and rural area, we can help ensure that any future policies take the needs of communities like the North Highlands into account.

“As a Chamber and as a business, we also recognise that we have a responsibility to look at how we and our members can build a more sustainable future for the region. This will involve looking not just at how we move to more environmentally friendly products, but at changing our attitude away from disposability and focusing more strongly on reduction and reuse.”

Catherine Macleod, Chair of Venture North (organisers of the Taste North festival) said:

“Taste North is the flagship food and drink event in the North Highlands, and the event has always had a focus on local production and responsible consumption. Looking at how we can work to reduce our consumption of single-use items is a great fit with our overall mission and we look forward to working with the Chamber on this exciting project.”

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, Iain Gulland, said:

“We know single-use items are blighting communities across Scotland and it is something we are determined to tackle. Some of these are only used for a matter of minutes yet can hang around our environment for years.

“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.”

Ditching Disposables is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).”

Bev Durrand, of Caffé Cardosi in Thurso, said:

“We are very pleased to be involved with this exciting project. Consumption of single-use items is a real problem facing our society and we look forward to working with the Chamber, the Trust and other businesses in Wick and Thurso to try and address this.”

Got a good news story you’d like to share? Get in touch with the Chamber today!

E: info@caithnesschamber.com
T: 01847 890076