Sustainability is talked about everywhere. People are slowly realizing how much garbage they are producing and that everyone really must do their part to save our planet. The to-go mentality of recent years does not really fit into this time anymore. But how can one effectively and meaningfully counter consumer behaviour geared to constant availability, speed and convenience? That's what Marlene Haas and Claudia Schäfer thought up when they declared war on the mountains of rubbish created by to-go cups with their non-profit initiative Cup2gether. In a pilot project, numerous cafes in the districts of Bornheim, Nordend and Ostend as well as more than 1000 citizens were won for a new type of deposit cup system. A first success, but the two Cup2gether initiators were also clear: If we really want to make a difference, the deposit system has to be extended to the whole city - and for this we need a professional partner.
The one was found in the Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH (FES), which has now taken the ambitious sustainability project to a new level with the #MainBecher. FES Managing Director Dirk Remmert presented the fact that there is a great deal of interest in this right at the beginning of the presentation of the deposit system. Never before has a press conference been so well attended, says Remmert. Rosemarie Heilig, Head of the Environment Department, was pleased about the great media interest, as she is very concerned about reducing the mountains of rubbish with which Frankfurt has to struggle. This is why she is also very grateful to Marlene Haas and Claudia Schäfer, because without their commitment the city with the project #MainBecher would not be as far away as it is now. 25 million disposable cups clog the public wastebaskets of the city or pollute the public space in Frankfurt every year. This number is to be significantly reduced in the coming months and years by the city-wide deposit system including returnable cups. "The city of Frankfurt spends around 50 million euros every year on keeping streets, squares and green spaces clean," said Rosemarie Heilig, head of the environmental department, at the public presentation. "As a member of the FES supervisory board, I am proud that the #MainBecher is another service for Frankfurters that focuses on waste avoidance. Because the avoidance of unnecessary waste must be our goal." She is particularly pleased that she has succeeded in finding a beaker that consists entirely of renewable raw materials and is also compostable, said the city councillor. "We really wanted to have a really green system. If there is a cup made from a waste product of paper production from a small company in the region, it is the right one for us."
The #Main cup works almost cashless, unlike other comparable systems. Only at the beginning do lovers of mobile coffee drinking have to buy a deposit stamp for three euros. The small wooden coin fits comfortably into the wallet and can be inserted or released by the system participants against the #Main cup. The cup will initially be offered in the 0.4 litre size; a smaller 0.3 litre version will be available from November. Soon there will also be a lid in FES blue for two euros, which, however, is not part of the deposit system. However, this cover can also be purchased by the system participants in the near future. An overview of all system participants can be found on the Internet page http://www.mainbecher.de. Soon an app for the smartphone will be available, too.
After a citizen survey a neutral grey was chosen as colour for the cup. The motifs include the Frankfurt eagle, the #Main cup logo with skyline and - small at the bottom - the FES slogan "No one does it like we do" on the cup, which is made of 100% recyclable materials. For Remmert it's clear: "If you care about Frankfurt, you can't get past the #MainBecher." Marlene Haas and Claudia Schäfer are happy that their project is being continued by the city and the FES with great goals: "We are happy and grateful that our project is being continued in this way and is now being carried throughout the city with the FES. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Frankfurt's Head of Economic Affairs Markus Frank, who, like the Head of Environmental Affairs, believed in the feasibility and topicality of such an environmental project for city districts, cafes and retailers and promoted this commitment. We are pleased also for the many engaged gastronomes and consumers, to whom now finally a lasting alternative can be ordered.
To the start of the pawnshop system already three Aral gas stations, the Kantine of the philosophical-theological university pc. Georgen as well as various further Caf?eacute;s and kiosks could be won. Talks with other well-known suppliers are about to be concluded. With the help of the FES sponsoring partner Löwen Frankfurt, a door has also been opened to the major sporting events in Frankfurt. With 30,000 cups it goes off, in the coming one and a half years the number is to increase to 120,000 cups. In addition, the system is to establish itself not only in Frankfurt, but in the entire Rhine-Main region. For this, as many system participants as possible must now be found who do not have to pay anything for participating - whether as a pure replenishment station, as an exchange station or with the complete offer. And then, of course, consumers also have to play their part. It will be interesting to see whether the number of to-go cups thrown away in trash cans and green spaces will actually decrease.