Cold Cups


Adopt a reusable cup program and incentivize guests to reuse their cups

Incentivize and encourage guests to bring their own reusable cups!

Adopt a reusable cup program and incentivize guests to reuse their cups.

Implement a rentable cup program where guests return the cups through a deposit system. There are professional reuse systems with commercial-grade dishwashing services that handle the logistics and washing of reusable systems.


Provide branded reusable cups available for purchase that festival-goers can keep with them throughout the event. Lanyard options can increase ease of reuse. 

Event venues:

Invest in reusable cups. 

Approved reusable materials may include: glass, ceramic, stainless steel, aluminum.

For outdoor areas or where glass may not be possible, polycarbonate glasses or reusable hard plastic cups can be sourced and washed on-site. 


Reusable Cup Successes

  • House of Yes Halloween party in 2019 used a reusable cup system from CupZero (including deposit system), and made a profit of $4,000 USD through the program. 
  • Glastonbury used reusable British steel pint cups from a company based in Birmingham in 2014.
  • Brooklyn Bowl used stainless steel cups for their SXSW Family Reunion event in 2019. 


When reusables are not applicable, choose disposable options compatible with available waste management infrastructure. 

Approved disposable materials

Materials may include paper with uncoated (or water-based coating), aluminum, bamboo, palm leaf or other home compostable materials.

Best practice paper options have a non-plastic often water-based lining, making the product plastic-free and are compostable and/or recyclable. Confirm liner details and compostability and recyclability claims with the manufacturer.

Aluminum is a solution when recycling infrastructure is in place. Aluminum is nearly infinitely and 100% recyclable and recycling infrastructure for aluminum is widely available globally because there is a high value for the material. These cups are also reusable and can be treated as such.

Some companies are even exploring water soluble options! These are best for tasting glasses, water stations in venue receptions, travel service and other short-term uses.

Tip – Aluminum cups keep cold drinks cold for long periods of time, increasing guest experience.

Compostable Plastic Cups

Compostable plastic cups, including “bioplastics” made from plant-based materials, are one of the most prevalent alternatives to traditional plastic cups on the market. These are primarily composed of materials like PLA (made from cornstarch) that are certified industrially or commercially compostable, meaning that they need to be treated in a specialized facility to properly break down.

There can be no contamination across streams.

Certified compostable items must be separated from other waste streams and collected by approved haulers taking this waste to an appropriate facility for treatment. These compostable products are not recyclable and contaminate recycling streams. On the other hand, compost waste streams cannot be contaminated by any non-compostable materials. Ensure your office building has a contract with a waste hauler who offers commercial composting service and confirm with them what materials they can handle. 

Learn more in Oceanic Global’s Greenwashing Guide.