Glastonbury Festival Orders Thousands of Cups to Help the British Steel Industry - Atlas Obscura
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Glastonbury Festival Orders Thousands of Cups to Help the British Steel Industry

It’s also an attempt to cut down on trash.

When a music festival like Glastonbury roars into town, it generally leaves behind ringing ears, trampled fields, and millions of crushed plastic cups.

This year, organizers are hoping to mitigate some of this damage with a kind of bare-bones collectible—a reusable pint cup sourced from local steel, reports Digital Spy. Would-be revelers will buy one for £5 along with their first drink, and keep swapping it for clean ones until the last day, when they can keep, return, or donate it.

According to their website, the festival has ordered 200,000 of the cups. “It has been a major fight to get this scheme off the ground,” says Lucy Smith, the festival’s sustainability coordinator, citing the massive scale, weights and measures concerns, and “crushability tests.” A promotional video shows the highlights of the cup-forging process, which includes a lot of melting, spinning, stacking, and buffing.

The cups were developed by a Sheffield-based company and made in Birmingham. Britain’s steel industry has been suffering from job cuts and international competition, and festival director Michael Eavis hopes this move will “encourage other UK businesses to think about how they can support our steel industry during these very challenging times.”

If nothing else, it’s extremely metal. Cheers to that.

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