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Stapel wegwerpbekers

Down with the disposable cup

Published on 08-03-2023 17:21
Every year we throw away 3 billion coffee cups in the Netherlands. It takes a lot of raw materials to make these cups. After an average use of 10 minutes, they disappear into the trash or worse, they turn into litter. This is about to change.
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New legislation

From 1 January 2024, Single Use Plastics legislation will come into force. Providing disposable items containing plastic (such as coffee cups) will be prohibited for on-site consumption from then on.

UvA campuses are considered a place for on-site consumption. Here too, coffee cups and other disposable items such as salad bowls and soup cups are disappearing from restaurants, espresso bars and at coffee machines. Sustainable, yes, and at the same time a challenge to find the best alternative.

The reusable cup

Vytal reusable cup

Facility Services tested reusable cups in collaboration with Mission Reuse. Before and after the summer we did a pilot with the Vytal system at the restaurant and Café de Krater at Roeterseilandcampus. To use the Vytal cup, you download an app and through this app the cup is linked to you. If you do not return the cup, 4 euros will be deducted from your bank account. Using this system, 91% of the cups were returned. In 6 weeks, 1,592 fewer disposable cups were used and thrown away at these locations. The pilot also showed that downloading the app was a hurdle. Therefore, we will test alternatives at different locations in the coming year. With the results we will get closer to a sustainable and user-friendly solution.

Communication Science students are helping us out

The best and most sustainable alternative is for everyone to bring their own reusable coffee cup. About 60 students of Communication Science are working in groups on proposals for campaigns to promote the "Bring your own" principle. We hope to use these outcomes to create an effective campaign after the summer.