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Sustainable substitute for plastic cups for large scale events

Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production

Current situation 

During festivals and events, visitors enjoy drinking beverages. Most of the time, plastic cups are used. These one-way cups are hygienic, lightweight and safe. But it also causes a huge amount of plastic waste. For example, during Military Boekelo, more than 60.000 visitors use about 150.000 cups within four days. 

The challenge 

Within a few years, these one-way cups are going to be phased out by law. The big challenge is to generate an alternative. We don’t expect that a ‘one size fits all’ solution will be possible, especially when you consider the different visitor behaviour and streams. 

Issues that need to be considered are for instance:

  • Event type and scale
  • Sustainability
  • Logistics of visitors and cups
  • Speed of use during event
  • Hygiene 
  • Materials 
  • Visitor behaviour and acceptance of solution
  • Business case
  • Cooperation with stakeholders

As Alliance we are open for cooperation, inside and outside the alliance, in the development of solutions. This is a joint effort of us and the students. 


We hope to reduce plastic waste enormously and thus have a big impact on the sustainability of these large-scale events. 

Target groups

Event organizations, visitors, cup producing companies


Group composition 

This challenge has many aspects students can work on. It may include, but is not limited to, technical, material, logistics, IT, business and communication science and is also depending on the concept development of the student team.  

Number of Groups 

At least two groups. More is possible when colleague event organisations within the Alliance also join in coaching groups.

Deadline for applications : 2021-02-14

Marike Boertien