The use of plastics at event sites has come under scrutiny in the past couple of years due to the increased focus on sustainability and other environmental concerns.
Traditionally any outdoor event of reasonable size / volume would use low cost disposable plastic glasses. These are great for single use due to their thin plastic and low cost per unit, however some event sites or councils have sought to discourage the use of these glasses. There are various mandates in place, although this depends on the specific area.
The most basic requirement is that there must be a system in place to effectively collect the waste and process the plastics used for recycling. This makes absolute sense and really should be done regardless. The most commonly use vacuum formed polypropylene glasses are very easily recycled by any plastic processing facility, this just need the correct sortation and collection.
Another restriction we’ve come across is a stipulation that all disposables used must be biodegradable. This makes the choice of plastics slightly more difficult as the usual polypropylene glasses are not biodegradable. Instead we offer biodegradable plastic glasses made from cPLA / cornstarch which will degrade naturally. Another alternative is to use biodegradable paper products where appropriate. The obvious downside of this stipulation is that the unit costs are noticeably higher than regular single-use disposables, a cost that may well end up being felt by the event attendees.
The most severe restriction is when an event site has a blanket ban on any disposable items, this means even biodegradable products cannot be used and the organisers will need to be more inventive in order to offer drinks to customers. We’ve got a wide range of reusable plastic glasses which are ideal for this purpose; these come in all shapes and sizes. The cost per unit is much higher on these items so it will be necessary to ensure the glasses are returned for reuse, normally through a deposit system that ensures customers can’t walk away with the glass without a surcharge. It’s also possible to use this as an opportunity to add value to your product, perhaps using branded glasses or a more attractive vessel than the usual tumbler style.
If you encounter any of these restrictions our experienced team can help you find a solution that works, simply get in touch.
We’ve got a huge range of disposable paper and plastic products for most occasions; however we also stock an extensive range of hard plastic reusable items. There are several reasons why you might want to consider a reusable plastic product over a cheaper disposable alternative, such as:
If you’re catering for a function that specifically requires more substantial glasses, our hard plastic reusable tumblers might be preferable.
- Potential reuse
This needs to be calculated on a case-by-case basis, but if it’s possible that the glasses might be reused there’s a point where it becomes more economical to use a reusable glass over a disposable type.
- Specific style of glass
Unfortunately not all glass shapes are possible or commonly available in disposable plastic. This can be for a variety of reasons, often because the shape would potentially be too weak for a disposable glass and too prone to breakage. Reusable glasses are available in a much wider variety of styles and have huge inherent strength.
- Commercial use
This is the most common reason for using a hard plastic reusable glass; commercial venues are often required to offer an alternative to glassware for after-hours or outdoor usage. This can be a council licencing stipulation, these are rigidly enforced for safety reasons. Polycarbonate reusable glasses are virtually unbreakable making them much safer than glassware in pubs, bars and clubs.
We stock reusable plastic glasses in 2 main material types. A standard hard plastic ‘light use’ type (ECON) which is made from crystal Polystyrene, and a harder plastic virtually unbreakable type (ELITE) made from Polycarbonate. The most suitable type is completely dependent on the intended usage; Polycarbonate glasses tend to be the go-to choice for commercial environments, however Polystyrene glasses are more popular for home or occasional usage. For all intents and purposes they look very similar; the Polycarbonate glasses are thicker and heavier however.
You can find the full reusable barware range reusable plastic glasses on our site at: https://innsupplies.com/reusable