Why Antiviral Reusable Cups Could Be The Key To Reducing Plastic Waste At Events
The Events Waste Problem
The UK events industry is said to be worth approximately £42.3bn, with over 85 million event attendees each year, pre-COVID-19.
Live music, including festivals, represent £1.1bn of this remarkable figure, with over 3 million estimated attendees each year.
These huge attendance figures produce vast amounts of waste annually, with a devastating environmental impact. In 2015, UK festival attendees, organisers and suppliers created upwards of 23,000 tonnes of waste, with over three quarters of that ending up in the landfill.
In the US, that figure rises to over 53,000 tonnes of waste each year - largely attributed to plastic waste.
The financial burden of the clean up process is placed on the organisers, and then eventually passed onto consumers (the attendees). In 2019, it took over 1,000 staff and volunteers more than six weeks to clean up the Glastonbury Festival site, at a reported cost of £785,000 to the organisers.
Mass consumption of single-use plastic is at the heart of the events waste issue, with over 100 million plastic cups produced and disposed of for events each year in the UK.
Making Events Greener
Positive steps are being taken to make events, and in particular festivals, greener. While we must acknowledge that not all waste can be recycled, significantly reducing plastic waste is one major way that events can improve their sustainability.
Glastonbury, the UK’s largest music festival, is leading the way. Despite being attended by over 200,000 people annually, they operate with a net carbon positive impact.
The event has imposed restrictions on the the sale of plastics by suppliers, with Glastonbury banning the sale of plastic altogether in 2019. In 2017, just two years previous, there were over a million plastic bottles of water sold at Glastonbury alone.
The ban also means that all non-compostable plates, cups, straws and cutlery are prohibited.
Plastic Cup Crisis - Single Use vs Reusable
Continuing to produce single use plastic cups at the current rate will have a significantly damaging environmental impact.
According to a study conducted by Hope Solutions in partnership with Zap Concepts, more than 90% of the environmental impact of disposable cups is caused by manufacturing them and then only using them once.
Reusable cups have been increasingly used at large events over the last two decades.
Switching completely to reusable cups at events could save up to 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year in the UK, with reusable cups registering a lower environmental impact than a single use cup after just 3 uses.
High quality reusable cups, such as the ones manufactured by Recup, can be used over 200 times each and are then fully recyclable.
Ideal Solution Antiviral Reusable Cups
The core benefits to reusable cups are plain to see - reducing the amount of single-use plastic being consumed will have a much better long term impact on the environment when properly implemented.
However, simply replacing disposable plastic cups and bottles with reusable ones may not be the solution, either - we should look to the future.
In a society that is now more aware of viral threats and sanitation than ever before, greater consideration needs to be given to the prospect of reusable items. Particularly if those items are being used in densely populated events, with potential limitations on ongoing public sanitisation.
We are working with Recup to develop a groundbreaking antiviral reusable cup that will combine their high quality, fully recyclable cups with our antiviral and antimicrobial technology.
By applying our patented coating technology, the antiviral reusable cups will be able to eradicate 99% of viruses and harmful bacteria from the surface within seconds of contact. The hyper-durable coating will match Recup’s 200 uses per cup with no diminishing antiviral impact.
This potentially game-changing development will help keep event-goers safe, as well as improve sanitisation efforts at events.
To find out more about our partnership with Recup or our antiviral solutions, please get in touch here.