To promote the vision of Eesti Pandipakend (to be one of the world’s most innovative and effective recycling organisations), in 2019 we launched reusable deposit cups that reduce littering. The service aims to prevent the generation of disposable drinking cups at any kinds of events and to thereby reduce littering.
The deposit cup works on the same principle as the deposit refund system of beverage packagings where deposit money is added to the cup that is issued to the consumer, and when returning the cup, the consumer will get the deposit back in full. Eesti Pandipakend (EPP) washes the used deposit cups, and reuses them at the next event. One deposit cup can be reused for up to 100 times, and once the cup’s lifetime ends, the cup will be sent to reprocessing, which will then allow to produce a new cup.
We offer a comprehensive solution for reducing the waste generated by the consumption of beverages. It is a transparent and convenient service available in one place, both in the context of deposit packaging recycling and reusable deposit cups.
How the deposit cup service works is that the event organiser orders deposit cups from EPP, uses them at their event where the visitors return the cups to the event organiser after consuming the beverage, and the organiser brings them back to EPP’s handling centre. The cups are washed carefully with an industrial washer to ensure the cleanness and hygiene suitable for food packaging.
Alternatively, the organiser can order everything relating to the service chain from EPP. In that case, communication of the new service at the event, entry into contracts with the selling points, transport of the deposit cups to and during the event, receipt of the deposit cups from the visitors via EPP’s manned return point(s), deposit money payment, reporting, and issue of invoices to the selling points are taken care of for the organiser.
To utilize deposit cups, an agreement must be signed with Eesti Pandipakend. Depending on the nature of the event, EPP concludes the agreement with the event organizer and/or separately with each sales point. For a more detailed overvew, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +372 5345 4984 (Kertu Tutk, Project Manager).
On average, a disposable cup is used only for 15 minutes, after which it is thrown away, so the reusable deposit cup prevents waste generation. Manufacture of disposable cups from natural materials does not make their production process environmentally friendly. Production of this raw material necessitates large farmlands and water, harmful pesticides are also often used. Thus, the best solution cannot be to change the material of the waste to be generated, but to prevent the generation of this waste (the waste hierarchy principle). Any disposable cup places a burden on our future environment, paper cups included, as they are usually lined with plastic.
In the estimation of the manufacturers, one deposit cup is in circulation for up to 100 washes, after that it may start losing its appearance, but not necessarily. Cups made from polypropylene that break or have completed their life cycle are sent to recycling by EPP as a recycling organisation since the cup material is well recyclable.
Statistics on EPP’s pilot season of 2019 show that in the deposit cup system, only a total of 4% of the cups issued were lost at events. The deposit money added to the deposit cup motivates consumers to return the cup. In the pilot season of 2019, 30 events were serviced across the country, preventing the waste generation of a total of 80,000 disposable plastic cups. In reality, this figure is higher because some consumers rinse their cup and repeatedly refill it during the event before returning it for a refund. By 2020, the pilot project has ended and the service is provided in Estonia for events of any size.
Eesti Pandipakend is thrilled be part of the #EUGreenBiz lot of nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment 2020-2021 competition. Hoping to make it to the final shortlist and represent Estonia at the Award Ceremony.