Organisers of Lost Village (cap. Approx 15,000) set out to cut the environmental impact of last year’s festival by eliminating single-use plastic cups from the waste stream. Pre-pandemic, Lost Village had used cups made from recycled content, which were recycled at the end of the event, but the team recognised that ultimately this was still a single-use system.

Lost Village worked with Event Cup Solutions’ ONE Planet ONE Chance Reusable Cup System for its August 2021 event; the reusable system is a fully managed service, meaning the cups are delivered onsite in company-owned and driven vehicles, and are delivered to the bar operators by a dedicated cup crew.

The ONE Planet ONE Chance team supply and manage cup return points and provide “binfrastructure”, so festivalgoers know where to put used cups. It also provides pre-event and point-of-sale communications material explaining the system to audiences, as well as having the crews onsite to make sure it all runs smoothly.

The cups are returned unwashed and taken to one of four wash centres around the UK, which together are capable of washing more than a million cups per week. It’s not a deposit scheme – ONE Planet ONE Chance charges a flat fee and with its premium service there is no charge for cup losses. ONE Planet ONE Chance says it is committed to making its reusable cup system carbon neutral: it measures emissions from transport and washing and offsets the carbon through UK tree planting. It sources the cups from a supplier that offsets the production emissions.

The introduction of reusable cups eliminated the use of more than 220,000 single-use cups at Lost Village which, in turn diverted more than 2,200 kg of single-use plastic from being reprocessed.

Through a UK tree planting initiative Event Cup Solutions (ECS) planted 93 trees to offset 22 tonnes of CO2e emissions generated by the ONE Planet ONE Chance Reusable Cup System activation at this festival.

ECS says other benefits of the system included a vast reduction in litter-picking costs, reduced waste management costs and a hugely improved customer experience – most people can agree that using a hard polypropylene cup is a superior experience than drinking from a single-use plastic cup. Lost Village Festival will be using the system again in 2022.