Anyone who has been to a concert over the past few decades knows the term: dozens or hundreds of plastic cups littering the venue floor at the end of the show. How much less waste would there be if those cups – numbering in the millions each year – could be washed and reused instead of being dumped in landfills?
In an initial big step in the right direction, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has announced a partnership with r.Cup, a sustainable platform that provides reusable cups in an effort to replace the use of single-use plastic cups. NIVA members in r.Cup operating cities can reduce their environmental footprint with r.Cup’s reusable cup system while raising funds for the National Independent Venue Foundation.
NIVA members in Denver, Seattle, and soon Los Angeles and Milwaukee have the opportunity to use r.Cup’s services to help protect the environment with less greenhouse emissions instead of using disposables at their venues. Through this partnership, r.Cup will donate $.01 to NIVF for every cup used by a NIVA member.
Live Nation announced a similar program at its venues last September in partnership with Turn Systems.
“NIVA is uniquely positioned to encourage our members to adopt sustainable practices, particularly to reduce single-use plastics through this innovative program,” said r.Cup COO Cody Cowan. “Not only does this program align with our green initiatives, it helps raise funds for our organization so we can continue our work to support independent music and comedy venues in communities across America.”
According to the announcement, R.Cup is a full-service reuse system that offers a variety of cups and containers, collection bins, delivery and pick-up logistics, sanitizing services, program training and more. After each event, r.Cup collects, washes, sanitizes, inspects and then repackages the cups for reuse. R.Cup is the first national reuse platform of its kind and has diverted millions of single-use cups and food items from landfills, eliminating two million tons of C02 emissions in more than 90 cities, 30 states and 12 countries. In North America alone, the live event industry contributes 4 billion single-use and disposable cups to landfills each year.
While organizations like Reverb and artists like Dave Matthews and Billie Eilish have made great strides toward a greener live-music environment in recent years, there’s no question that European venues and festivals are far ahead of the U.S. in such efforts. diversity Last year Norway’s remarkably visionary Wa spoke to festival organizers about their approach, and how they can be adopted by venues and festivals everywhere — see the article here.