Using a disposable cup for coffee or tea may be convenient, but it also generates a lot of waste. As many as 4 billion coffee cups are used annually in the Netherlands. At UT, in 2019 (the last year before corona) we used more than 1.1 million cups. On average, a disposable cup is only used for 7 minutes. Most cups then disappear into the incinerator. Obviously, this is not sustainable. That is why we are working -together with other educational institutions in the Netherlands- to significantly reduce the number of disposable cups, with the ultimate goal of zero disposable cups.
As part of the plan for a waste-free campus, we at UT are already working in various ways to reduce the number of disposable cups. For example, when you get coffee at an Appèl coffee corner, you now get a Billie Cup as standard and a 10% discount if you bring your own cup. Also, most pantries at workplaces have dishwashers so that mugs and cups can be hygienically reused. At the Linde, a pilot with coffee machines without disposable cups is under way and will soon be extended to more locations on campus.
But things could -and should- be much better: the UT wants to use as few disposable cups as possible. Of course, we want to achieve this in a way that is easy and pleasant for students, staff and visitors. Therefore, together with other educational institutions in the Netherlands, we are conducting a survey to find out what you think are effective measures to encourage the use of reusable cups and mugs. You can help by completing the survey.
Want to drink your coffee or tea more sustainably right away? Some facts at a glance:
- At the Unionshop, you can buy a selection of bottles, mugs and cups to use instead of disposable cups. This week, you even get a 2.50 discount on the UT Travel Mug!
- Want to drink your coffee in the most eco-friendly way possible? Use your reusable mug several times before rinsing it and wash it in a full dishwasher.
- Still want to use a disposable cup? Then use it several times and throw it in the PMD waste afterwards.
- Do you have any questions, comments or practical problems that cause you not to use a reusable cup? Let us know via mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.