Glastonbury launches reusable British steel pint cups

April 14, 2016

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After three years of trial and research, Glastonbury Festival is delighted to launch a sustainable, recycled stainless steel pint cup for use on a major scale at this year’s event.

Over 200,000 cups will be in circulation in ten major bars across the site, with customers paying £5 for a steel cup, available from WaterAid kiosks. These can be returned for a full refund at Information points.


The Festival’s Green Initiatives and Sustainability Coordinator Lucy Smith (pictured with Michael Eavis, above) says: “Everybody said we couldn’t do it with something  on the scale of Glastonbury and it has been a major fight to get this scheme off the ground, dealing with everything from weights and measures to crushability tests.

“But for us, it’s part of the reusable revolution. It’s very similar to paying 5p for a carrier bag. We think people will take to it. The pints are made by APS in Birmingham, and it was a significant part of the project to have them made with British stainless steel.”

For the Festival, the question of how to reduce the amount of waste – in particular pint beer cups – has always been a challenging one. But the stainless pints are the first of their kind and are made of food grade 80 per cent recycled British stainless steel. When Festival-goers need a refill, they will be able to swap their cup for a fresh one.

Says Lucy: “Michael (Eavis) wanted to support the British steel industry, and what we got was much higher, more consistent quality. The difference is clear in the quality of the steel. APS made the cups on a press previously used to make Land Rover parts.”


The local support for the cup project extends to Street, where sheepskin and leather manufacturers Owen Barry have been commissioned to provide designer ‘cup covers’ for the project.

Adds Festival organiser Michael Eavis: “I’m told the cup initiative is a bit of a revolution. But for me, the single most important thing was being able to source British stainless steel for the cups from the place where it was invented – Sheffield, and then to take it on to the home of manufacture – Birmingham.”

“Week after week, there’s a story in the national press about jobs in the UK steel industry being put at risk. There’s seemingly no end to the negative slide of this critical industry, and if the jobs, skills and infrastructure are lost they won’t be replaced.”

“We’ve worked on this project over the last three years, which will hopefully encourage other UK businesses to think about how they can support our steel industry during these very challenging times.”

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