From festival cups to a special collection of design trays

During the summer, the OurkilO microfactory will process the soft cups that will be consumed during the Bluegrass Festival from June 24th – June 26th, 2022.

The need to rethink

As of 2023, the European Law of Single Use Plastic (SUP) will be applied related to, amongst others, drinking cups that are used at festivals. Ambitions are set to have at least 75% of single use cups collected for recycling in 2023. This means that initiatives are taken to rethink the use, collecting and recycling of drinking cups. At the same time, knowledge should be shared on the alternatives and on the implications of plastic recycling.

Our pilot

As part of CityLab010, we will conduct a pilot in a semi-closed environment. We have teamed up with Bluegrass Festival to support them in achieving this 75% of collection. During the festival, we will work with an exchange system – the deposit coin giving access to the single use soft cups. For each new drink, you hand in the old one, and receive a hygienic, clean new cup. This way, we will test the return system and can also learn how to organise the logistics of recycling during a festival.

Additionally, we will work with a new version of the soft cups – those that are unprinted. This is essential to facilitate the recycling process – since it means the cups will only be of 1 material, without any additions. They are made from recycled PET. We have adjusted our microfactory, so that next to PLA, we can also process this stream of plastic, which currently counts for more than 30% in the household package market.

Our process

During the festival, we proudly present our new display to explain the process within the OurkilO microfactory. It exists of the following steps:


Plastic can last a lifetime! So why do we throw it away? If we collect, sort and clean it, we avoid waste, save CO2 and reuse every kilo of material. No need for new plastic, plenty out there that waits to be upcycled; PET, HDPE, PP, PE…. So many types of plastics and they differ as much as glass and wood.


OurkilO collects disposable plastics type by type. By sorting and treating them well, OurkilO makes high quality recycled granulate. Every type of plastic follows its own procedure to re-enter the loop, becoming the same or something else. We start with PLA and PET – so collect:



Designing and manufacturing is in our DNA. At OurkilO we make sure our granulate is fit for any form. That is why we make mono-stream granulate in our micro-factory where 3D printers can transform it into products that are new, surprising and made to last a lifetime! We conduct various experiments to find the right recipe. Closing the loop for plastics, one kilo at a time.

Together with Bergwerg Werkt, we will clean the cups. Over the summer, we will experiment with the right settings and recipes to transforms the soft cups into high design trays and festival collectibles. Here you can see a selection of our proposed outcomes: