Away with disposable cups

Cup of coffee or tea? Use the Billie Cup!

Afbeelding van de Billie Cup, de duurzame beker voor warme dranken.

Early class at 8:30? You wake yourself up with a cup of coffee from the coffee machine. Later, you have a class in another building so you quickly grab a new one. Then you switch to tea, another cup. That’s 3 disposable cups in one day.

Each year we use over 2 million disposable cups at HAN (staff and students combined). What can we do about this waste? Meet de Billie Cup!

How does the Billie Cup work?

For each cup, you pay a 1 euro deposit. At HAN you have 2 options to get back your deposit. Hand in your Billie cup and get a Billie Coin for a 1 euro discount on your next purchase. Or exchange your cup for a clean one. We started the Billie Cup together with Eurest at The Pub, The Zalloon and The Brew in Nijmegen & The HANgar in Arnhem. Over 2,328 Billie Cups were sold in the first 3 months. "We saved 19,102 disposable cups; a great start," says Marije Wensink, sustainable projects project leader. "It takes some getting used to, but we generally get positive feedback."

Man en vrouw met de Billie Cup, een duurzame beker voor warme dranken.
Doing the dishes 

Dishwasher first

The Billie Cup is not waste, but it has to be washed. How sustainable is that? "When you hand in the cup at HAN, caterer Eurest puts it in the professional dishwasher. That’s more sustainable than disposable cups," says Marije. "So is taking your own Billie Cup or any other cup home and putting it in the dishwasher that’s going to run anyway. If you wash or rinse the cup yourself, be conscious about it and do it sparingly. Then recycling is the more sustainable option."

In 3 months, we saved 19,102 disposable cups."

Rollout across HAN 

The next step

After a successful introduction in the cafes at HAN, the Billie Cup will soon be available in the restaurants and other buildings on campus. Marije: "You can of course use the Billie Cup at the coffee machines scattered around campus, but right now you only get your deposit back at the cafes. We’re working hard to spread the use of the Billie Cup across campus. In January, our location at Laan van Scheut 2 in Nijmegen will switch to the Billie Cup in the restaurant and at the coffee machines. Our goal? That the entire HAN will switch to the Billie Cup in 2023."

The Billie Cup is also available at some 250 other locations in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Want to find out more?