What is your study programme?
Information for
[ enrolled students ]
What is your study programme?
Japser Bok holding an UvA coffee cup

Pressing questions about the coffee cup policy

Published on 25-06-2024
Since 1 January 2024, the Single Use Plastics (SUP) legislation has been in effect. The aim of this legislation is to reduce litter and waste. Disposable coffee cups are often used only one time before being discarded into bins or onto the streets. This law prohibits the offering of single-use plastic items (like coffee cups) at educational sites.
Show information for your study programme
You're currently viewing general information. Choose your study programme to see additional information that's specific to your study programme, such as deadlines, regulations and contact details.
What is your study programme?

Jasper Bok is the team leader for contract management, responsible for overseeing agreements between UvA and suppliers. An important aspect of his role is striving for minimal environmental impact, which also includes the coffee cup policy. 

The coffee machines have been without cups for a while now. Remind us, why have they been removed?  

‘Since 1 January 2024, the Single Use Plastics (SUP) legislation has been in effect. The aim of this legislation is to reduce litter and waste. Disposable coffee cups are often used only one time before being discarded into bins or onto the streets. This law prohibits the offering of single-use plastic items (like coffee cups) at educational sites. 

Since last September, we have been encouraging students and staff to bring their own cup. We didn't adopt this approach lightly. To find the best alternative to disposable cups, the SUP project team collaborated with AUAS/UvA students to conduct several trials. We explored options with and without deposits, as well as the feasibility of cup collection, rinsing, and return systems. Most options proved either impractical, user-unfriendly, or too costly—funds we prefer to allocate elsewhere within our educational institution. Our ultimate conclusion was that we don't really need disposable cups since everyone can bring their own, which is the most sustainable option.’ 

Are there truly no other sustainable alternatives to disposable cups? What about cups made from sugarcane?

‘Sugarcane-based cups are made from bio-plastic materials but are still classified as plastic and thus not permitted. While the production process and raw materials may differ from traditional plastic cups, the material isn't as easily biodegradable as, say, a banana peel, nor is it easy to recycle into new materials.’ 

Many students dislike rinsing their cups in the bathroom. Are there alternative options? 

‘Many UvA locations have pantries—small kitchens equipped with sinks—where you can also rinse your cup. We are also exploring the possibility of installing Rinse & Go stations in several places. These efficient rinsing points were developed by AUAS students from the SYBIT minor. Soon, you'll find one at the Roeterseiland campus in REC H.’ 

How do you think new students will adapt to this?  

‘Disposable cups are no longer allowed in secondary schools and workplaces either, so we believe everyone is becoming more accustomed to bringing their own cup. Additionally, almost everyone carries their own water bottle nowadays. Nevertheless, we'll be relaunching the 'Bring Your Own Cup' communication campaign at the end of August to ensure no one is caught off guard.’ 

And finally... do you ever forget your cup? 

‘I've been bringing my own cup for 6 years now; I rarely forget it. Making this small contribution to a better world isn't difficult—it's simply a matter of habit.’ 

 Think Green. Act Greener.

Contact

Facility Services

Facility Services arranges various facilities on campus. For example, you can go there for questions about the student card, reserving rooms or facilities related to events.

Contact details