The last disposable cup

The last disposable cup

Caterers within UM switch to reusable deposit cups

25-10-2023 · Background

Friday, October 13, towards the end of the afternoon. A caffeine-hungry student quickly orders a cappuccino from Coffeelovers in the hall of the Student Service Centre (SSC) just before closing time. On the face of it, a very normal scene, yet this is a special cup of coffee. Not because of the contents, but because of the casing: it is the very last disposable cup 'officially' handed out in a catering establishment within Maastricht University.

In principle, UM already said goodbye to disposable to-go cups as of 1 July, following the new European guideline to drastically reduce the amount of plastic litter (and yes, 'paper' coffee cups also contain a layer of plastic). At 'unstaffed' coffee machines since then, you can only use your own cup. Caterer Eurest Campus - which manages most cafés and coffee corners within UM - switched to the 'Billie Cup', a reusable deposit cup that requires a euro deposit, for take-away coffee. The two other exploiters operating within UM, Bandito Espresso (two locations, at Oxfordlaan and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and Coffeelovers in the SSC, did still sell disposable cups for a while, albeit with a surcharge. By now, both also switched to their own deposit system, similar to Billie Cup. Coffeelovers was the last to make the switch.

Whether this disposable cup may also take the honour of 'very last within the entire university'? That remains to be seen. Although not the preferred option, UM will allow disposable cups to be used at events and in case of 'emergencies' until 1 January. For instance, caterer Eurest will still supply disposable cups during the upcoming Master Open Day on 11 November (for the last time), Rabbe Dormans, advisor for environmental and sustainability issues, informed when asked.

Photo: Ellen Oosterhof

Tags: disposable,cup,deposit,sustainability,coffee,coffeelovers,eurest,banditos,instagram

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