Returnable plastic cups work out cost-effective

The use of returnable cups during the local Gràcia, Sants and La Mercè festivities meant a saving of 210,000 disposable cups, avoiding the generation of the equivalent to 210 kg of waste packaging. The experience formed part of the municipal zero waste strategy, promoting the reduction of waste generation among the public.

Based on an average of 1.25 uses per cup, a total of 134,600 cups were not needed at the Festa Major de Gràcia, along with a further 45,700 at the Festa Major de Sants. During festivities for La Mercè, and based on an estimated average of 2.5 uses per cup, some 30.000 disposable cups were saved. The total of 210,300 plastic cups which were not needed represents a saving of 210 kilograms of waste packaging.

Returnable cups also avoid excessive build-ups in litter bins, waste containers and even on the ground in the streets, reducing the need for cleaning and helping towards a cleaner city through joint responsibility.

Each cup, with its own festival design, was distributed via a one euro deposit paid to bars located in streets and squares. Users were then welcome to return the cup and get their deposit back, although many opted to keep it instead as a memento.