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  • Walter Ocaña

The freiburg cup, an ecological alternative to drinking coffee in a reusable cup

Actualizado: 18 dic 2020

Germany takes the initiative and establishes an innovative system for coffee lovers to replace the disposable cups, with another that is ecofriendly.

Germany is one of the countries that consume most coffee in the world. It is estimated that they drink more than 300 thousand disposable cups per hour and the trend grows. As a consequence of this, a serious environmental problem has arisen. What are we going to do with the used glasses? The city of Freiburg has the answer, and the solution deserves to be imitated by other cities. Here we tell you all the details.

The Freiburg coffee cup model is practical. Is just like when you buy your returnable bottle, the city established a system for coffee consumers to buy a returnable polypropylene cup and use it up to 400 times. The cup has been named as the “Freiburg Cup” (La taza Friburgo, in Spanish), it is recyclable. It began to circulate in 2016 and because of the great reception, their promoters launched a second version in 2019 that includes a reusable black cap that can be carried in your pocket to replace the disposable one from the first version.


You pay a deposit in euros for the returnable glass and you can return it after use in all associated companies”, this is reported on the official Freiburg cup website. The Freiburg cup works like a normal returnable bottle. You will receive a deposit in euros for each cup returned”.

With this project, Freiburg wants to reduce the environmental impact of disposable coffee cups, it is estimated that these wastes generate 40 thousand tons of garbage per year in Germany.

The Freiburg Cup is promoted by the Government of that city and has coffee shops and bakeries as partners. These commercial premises receive the returnable glasses, wash them and put it back into circulation. Or if it is the case, if they see that they are already deteriorated, they replace them with new ones.

Peru would do well to reproduce this magnificent policy. Even more when we already have the Plastic Law (Law 30884, in force since December 2018) with regulations (August 2019). In other words, there is already a legal framework on this matter, and having this is an advantage, because municipalities can legislate and draw up their ordinances more easily.

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