Glasgow Coffee Festival 2018 was the first coffee festival in the world (that we know of!) to ban all disposable coffee cups.
In the place of disposable coffee cups, we encouraged ticketholders to switch to reusable cups. Ticketholders could either:
- Bring their own cup
- Borrow a cup at the festival from KeepCup (for a £5 refundable deposit)
- Buy a reusable cup at the festival.
Washing stations (supported by Espresso Solutions) were available at the festival so that ticketholders could easily wash their own cups.
With thanks to KeepCup, we kept a tally of how many times ticketholders washed their cups which indicates an approximate number of how many disposable cups were saved from landfill. The total number of disposable cups saved was 18,000.
We were blown away by how supportive ticketholders and businesses were of our switch to reusable, so we wanted to share how we did it!
Our step-by-step guide to going reusable
- We were delighted to have KeepCup on board! We had a brainstorm session with KeepCup who came up with a hire scheme for ticketholders to borrow cups at the festival. Ticketholders could borrow an un-lidded KeepCup to use on the day in return for a £5 refundable deposit.
- We let the businesses taking part in the festival know about our switch to reusables early on in the planning.
- We also let all ticketholders know by email and on social media.
- We distributed a press release to outlets across Scotland and the UK to promote it.
- We made sure that all queries on social media were answered as quickly as possible.
- We added a FAQ section to the website about how the cup situation would work.
- We had a communications strategy in place, shared with KeepCup so we were all using the same messaging.
- In the lead up to the event, we made sure to communicate regularly and often about the switch to reusables so no one turned up unawares on the day.
- In the days before the event, we sent a reminder email to attendees to "look out their reusable cups" (a very Scottish turn of phrase!)
- We made the idea of bringing your own cup sound appealing and positive (which it is!).
- At the festival, we made sure the cup-borrowing section was away from the main door to ensure entrance to the festival didn't get jammed up.
- Washing stations were spread around the festival and looked after by festival staff.
- There were reusable cleaning cloths at the stations so that cups could be dried once they'd been rinsed.
- The water in the cup rinsers was replenished regularly.
- Keep Scotland Beautiful also attended the festival which helped educate ticketholders about why switching to reusables is so important.
- The environmental message of the festival was reinforced by many other businesses adopting reusable practices which you can read about in our blog post.
How did it actually go?
We had approximately 1,800 attendees at the festival across Saturday and Sunday. We followed up with a survey to see what they thought of the event as well as the switch to reusable cups. Here's the results!
Were you in favour of the idea of no disposable cups at the festival?
What cup did you use at the festival?
Any comments about the reusable aspect of the festival?
"Absolutely loved this aspect of the festival. I was lucky enough to be given a KeepCup the week prior to the festival but if I hadn't I would have brought on the day. My boyfriend borrowed one from KeepCup which worked really well."
"Astounding how many reusable cups were saved. I am making an effort to use mine every day & not be a lazy mare!"
"I love the fact that the festival went with a sustainable focus and hope that more festivals will do the same in future."
We hope our round up of Glasgow Coffee Festival 2018 is helpful in switching your to reusables! Feel free to ask us any questions about it via twitter.