Last updateTue, 20 Feb 2024 6am

Compostable beer cups at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Last weekend was the first time a major global sports event used compostable bioplastic beer cups. At the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 150,000 beer cups of compostable Biodolomer, reduced waste, microplastics and CO2 to a minimum.

The beer cups, from UK-based Happy Dolphin, are the first ever to be made of compostable Biodolomer. Last weekend’s event was the first where they were used on a big scale. 150,000 cups were supplied to Ethara who are the promotors and organizers of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"It's a fantastic sign of recognition to have been chosen by such a prestigeous event", says David Hughes of Happy Dolphin.
“The cups are very durable and stable and are suitable for printing. They can be collected along with food waste and put straight in an industrial compost. The result will be soil that is very high in minerals.”
Biodolomer, devised by Swedish company Gaia Biomaterials, is a bioplastic primarily made from natural minerals and vegetable oils. It comes in granules and can be used in most plastic production methods. It has the same characteristics as plastic – but is compostable, very durable and does not leave any micro plastoc or plastic pollution. Biodolomer is used for everything from grocery bags to cover film for agriculture. It is 100% compostable, CO2 neutral and does not result in any microplastics.
"This a fantastic opportunity for us to show the world what our material can do, And that it is possible to totally eliminate plastic waste", says Gaia Biomaterials CEO Peter Stenström.
The beer cups used in Abu Dhabi were developed by Happy Dolphin in order to be suitable for major events. They are sturdy, which reduces foaming from beer taps, and can be printed on all sides. Two different measurements are embossed in the cups.
“They are extremely robust”, Hughes adds.
“We’ve stepped on them, hit them with cricket bats, sat on them and they just wrinkle and can be put back in shape – ready for a refill. The only thing that broke them was when we ran them over with a car."


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