Spring festivals produce far less waste thanks to reusable cups

Spring festivals and events in Flanders have much less waste due to the introduction of reusable cups. This was revealed on Thursday by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) based on results of a monitoring exercise. "Events produce remarkably less waste, the clean-up goes more smoothly and the grounds stay neater," the agency says.

An open city event has up to 40 per cent less residual waste and 60 per cent less waste from sweeping trucks, according to OVAM. Closed festivals recorded a 63 per cent drop in total waste per visitor when reusable eating utensils are used in addition to cups.

This year's Sfinks Mundial festival, for example, saw a 56 per cent drop in waste per visitor compared to the 2018 edition that did not have reusable cups and eating utensils. And during the Aalst Carnival, the use of reusable cups resulted in a 22 percent reduction in waste per visitor compared to 2023. In addition, the supply of reusable cups on the rental market is growing rapidly, making the practice increasingly easy to implement.

Summer festivals next

An OVAM study from 2020 shows that reuse is always the best option to reduce environmental impact. Once a cup is used 10 times, the environmental impact is smaller than disposable cups. A survey of suppliers active on the Flemish market shows that the total amount of usage is usually higher. Depending on the type, a cup is reused between ten and hundreds of times.

The current results are limited to festivals organised this spring. At festivals this summer, drinks may only be served in reusable material, excluding PET bottles and cans. Proper implementation of the rules will also be monitored this summer, OVAM says.



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