The University of Colorado Boulder formed a partnership with Ball Corporation to offer aluminum cups instead of plastic at football games this season. The new CU Boulder-branded aluminum cups are part of Ball’s recently launched pilot program.
Ball says its aluminum cups are an “infinitely recyclable” alternative to single-use plastic. This month the company is piloting a limited supply of the cups for entertainment venues, major concessionaires, and other locations through next year.
CU Boulder will be the first collegiate venue in the nation to have the aluminum cups when they debut this weekend during a Colorado Buffaloes’ home opener against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Folsom Field. The university aims to become plastic-free for single-use beverages in sports venues by 2020. It’s also looking to increase campus-wide municipal solid waste diversion from 51% in 2018 to 90% in 2025.
According to Ball’s research, 67% of US consumers said they would visit a venue more often if they used aluminum cups instead of plastic and 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.
Reusable cups are a growing trend on American campuses. Vanderbilt University moved to eliminate single-use plastic bottles with hydration stations and reusable aluminum tumblers starting this semester. Major beverage companies are also investing in alternatives to single-use plastic. Over the summer, CNN reported that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo cut ties with the Plastics Industry Association, a plastics lobbying group.