Cup to Go® 


Sustainable Concept for the Cafeterias and Cafes
Without Disposable Cups

Cup to Go® is an innovative sustainable concept that is based on the behavior of our consumers and should therefore help substitute the need to grab a disposable cup. The core element of this solution is the conversion to reusable cups in all gastronomic facilities of the University of Mannheim and the University of Applied Sciences. This is combined with the environmentally friendly and convenient use of being able to return the cup after use at various return points.

Urkunde Cup to goFriends of the University of Mannheim, ABSOLVENTUM Mannheim, and the AStA of the University of Mannheim support this sustainable project with a financial contribution. The Studierendenwerk Mannheim has already successfully completed the brand registration for Cup to Go®, which demonstrates a long-term interest in the project.

The project development was preceded by a thorough scientific analysis, which demonstrated an improvement in the ecological footprint. According to the study, the elimination of disposable cups and the conversion of the Cup to Go® reusable system at the University of Applied Sciences, is will save 800 kg of CO2, 2,700 liters of water and 360 m²/a of land during one semester. This is expected to triple for the University of Mannheim.

The current climate discussion for a more sustainable consumption has been a concern of the Studierendenwerk Mannheim for some time now. This concerns, among other things, the abundance of waste from disposable cups. In Germany, around 2.8 billion cups are thrown away every year, which corresponds to 40,000 tons of waste. Because of the amount of plastic in the cups, the waste must be burned as residual waste. Meeting this challenge through Cup to Go® has motivated the Studierendenwerk Mannheim to apply for the City of Mannheim’s Environmental Award with its sustainability project. The focus this year is the avoidance of plastic.

However, there are other reasons why it makes sense to ban disposable cups for good. For example, all the raw material requirements for the production of disposable cups. Approximately 43,000 trees, 1.5 billion liters of water, and 3,000 tons of crude oil take to produce the 2.8 billion cups. The CO2 emissions produce upwards of 111,000 tons per year.

Following the implementation of Cup to Go® at the University of Applied Sciences and the University of Mannheim, the Studierendenwerk Mannheim is planning on rolling out this sustainable project to the other Mannheim institutions in its area of responsibility.