City Cups

Globelet is made of Plastic? - Case Study

A Globelet Case Study

  • A music festival is an example of a mini city for 3 days.

  • Music Festivals have become great case studies for us to test products and systems to bring to the world

  • We supply over 40 major music festivals a year.

  • Below is a case study on reusables in a mini city vs disposables

Beginning:
An event of 10,000 people normally brought 5* as many disposable cups (50,000).
- Some events went compostable. These were made in Taiwan, shipped to Aus/NZ and used once. If they were lucky they were thrown in the right conditions.
- Some events went recyclable. In 40 years, only 14% of all plastic has been recycled.

Enter Globelet:
- Instead of 50,000 single use cups, we now have 15,000 reusable cups
- Instead of 50,000 single use cups that come from TAIWAN, we now have 15,000 reusable cups that come from New Zealand.
- Instead of 50,000 single use cups that end up on the ground, there is 15,000 reusable cups that somebody picks up as they can return them to us for $1.
- Instead of 50,000 single use cups that will be used once and thrown away, 15,000 Globelet's will be washed, and reused over and over again.
- 75% (11,250) of Globelet's on average get returned to us for reuse. vs 0% (0) single use cups
- 0.1% (15) of Globelet's on average get damaged and have to be recycled in our factory to turn into crates vs 100% of disposables that do not even get recycled
- 0.8% (120) Globelet's find their way into a rubbish bin, and if sorting is done by waste management get returned to us for washing.

Over 7 years that we have been in business, some festivals like Splore Festival has cups that have been washed and returned for over 6 years.

Over 7 years we have cups that have been used over 300 times stopping 300 single use compostable cups.

Educational Impact: The social impact we have on an event is another major factor. Our manifesto is to create the reusable economy and stop the single use mindset that has been installed in us. Our hope is people carry this across into their everyday lives, reusing wherever possible.

Currently there is no compostable product that is reusable and scalable. We are always looking out for this.

You are welcome to use a single use compostable cup or bio cup if you like. But remember
1) It is probably made in Asia
2) It requires the same amount of energy (oil) to produce as it does a Globelet. All that energy just so you use it once seems sad?
3) It needs the right environment to compost and if not, it can release worse emissions than a plastic disposable

Australian version of the Freiberg Cup

Customers pay $1 for a reusable cup that can be returned to any participating business in the city center.

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How often have you found yourself needing a coffee on the run, yet without a reusable mug? Does it prevent you from ordering that coffee? Unless you're Bea Johnson, the answer is likely "no." You take the coffee to go, and, if you're like me, feel incredibly guilty for the duration of the drink.

But what if you could get a reusable coffee mug on the spot -- an affordable, convenient option that eliminates a good amount of waste? (And I'm not talking about the $25 themed ones that Starbucks hawks aggressively at Christmastime.)

The city of Freiburg, Germany, has come up with an excellent solution to the problem of rampant coffee cup waste and human forgetfulness. In November 2016, it launched the Freiburg Cup, a hard plastic to-go cup with a disposable lid that's provided to businesses by the city. Customers pay a €1 deposit for the cup, which can be returned to any one of 100 stories in the city center. These stores will disinfect and reuse the cups, up to 400 times. Participating stores have an identifying green sticker in the window.

The food- and dishwasher-safe cups are made in southern Germany from polypropylene and do not contain BPA or plasticizers. According to the new Life Without Plastic book (my go-to reference on plastic safety), polypropylene is fairly heat resistant and considered "relatively safe."

The program has been hugely successful in its first year, especially among students on the university campus. Other cities throughout Germany have expressed interest in replicating the program.

From the FAQ section of the Freiburg Cup website, having a reusable cup option is particularly relevant for Germans, who drink an impressive 300,000 cups of coffee per hour. This adds up to 2.8 billion coffee cups a year, all of which are used for an average of 13 minutes before being tossed out.

Disposable coffee cups cannot be recycled easily, as we've explained before on TreeHugger. The paper is lined with polyethylene to keep it waterproof, but this cannot be separated at standard recycling facilities. The resources required to produce such a great number of cups is staggering, as well.

"43,000 trees, 1.5 billion liters of water, 320 million kWh of electricity, 3,000 tons of crude oil. Disposable cups turn into garbage after a short use, and this results in 40,000 tons of residual waste nationwide. The cups are not recycled, in many places, lying around paper cups adversely affect the city cleanliness."

If coffee companies are unwilling to make changes (as Starbucks has shown itself to be), then cities and municipalities need to come up with better solutions -- especially ones that make eco-friendly decision-making as convenient as possible. The Freiburg Cup is proof that creative green alternatives do exist; its model could easily be exported elsewhere around the world.

Indeed, this is what Environment Commissioner Gerda Stuchlik hopes. The Freiburg Cups often disappear into tourists' suitcases as a cheap souvenir, a 15 percent shrinkage rate that is frustrating, but Stucklik sys, "We take comfort in the fact that the idea of educing waste is being exported to the world with every Freiburg Cup."