A Minneapolis company has been teaming up with the city's most iconic music venue in an effort to reduce plastic waste at concerts.
First Avenue and r.Cup will wrap up a monthlong program at the end of April. The run covered six shows in total, with two more still on the schedule - the Taking Back Sunday concerts on April 27 and 28.
The premise is simple. When you get a drink, instead of taking one of those flimsy textured plastic cups, you can pay an extra $3 deposit for an r.Cup.
For the rest of the show, that's your cup to use over and over. At the end of the night, you can return the cup and get your $3 back - or decide to keep it.
The cups are branded for the venue or show, so there is some souvenir appeal to holding on to it. For example, these Mumford and Sons cups:
They're also recyclable, BPA-free plastic, and r.Cup says a portion of its proceeds are donated to environmental groups.
The company took part in The Current's 14th birthday party at First Avenue earlier this year, r.Cup's first club show. Word has spread quickly.
R.Cup has partnered with acts including U2 and Jack Johnson; venues, such as First Avenue, The Amp in St. Augustine, and the O2 in London, according to r.Cup founder and CEO Michael Martin; and festivals, such as Warped Tour and Farm Aid, Billboard reported.
Rolling Stone has previously written about the issue of single-use plastic at live events, noting 2015 Bonnaroo in Music and Arts Festival resulted in more than 960 tons of waste over four days, most of it plastic.
And recent stories of whales being found dead with dozens of pounds of plastic in their stomach have highlighted the issue of the waste ending up in the ocean.