In collaboration with Selecta, we brought out our very first sticker, saying “Use your own cup!”. With this message we hope to reduce the plastic cup waste of university. The stickers can be found on all the vending machines informing coffee lovers about the €0,11 they are saving by using their own mugs or reusing the plastic cups. Both cheaper and less wasteful!
Thousands of students and employees at Utrecht University enjoy one or more cup(s) of coffee each day during college and office hours. Typical of the current linear economy is the way the cups are used: they are provided by the vending machine and end up in the trash unrecycled.
To compare: last year, the vending machines at Wageningen University consumed an estimated 2,5 million polystyrene cups (10,5 tonnes of plastic), which was about 0,5% of the waste production of the whole university. During our December brainstorming session, not reusing/recycling the coffee cups turned out to be an annoyance of many of those present.