A Pukkelpop first: waste today, better cup next time!

In conjunction with the city of Hasselt, Maes Pils and Fost Plus Pukkelpop is proud to announce an impressive premiere: next year’s beer cups will be made from the PET waste of this year’s edition.

This took idea took root at the 2016 edition of Baraque Futur, a mini-festival at the Pukkelpop festival grounds with experimentation and sustainability as the central themes. Two years later start-up Tridea has succeeded in developing a new technique for the recycling of beer cups. Tridea specialises in, amongst others, recycling waste and its conversion into filaments or ‘ink’ for 3D printers.


Pukkelpop spokesman Frederik Luyten: “Maes cups and plastic bottles will be collected separately at Pukkelpop. This specific waste fraction is 100% recyclable, making it suitable as a raw material for next year’s cups. At least 15 tonnes of PET waste will have to be recycled to achieve our objective but it’s a challenge we will gladly take on with the support of our Pukkelpoppers.”

Nadja Vananroye (mayor of Hasselt): “Our city council gives high priority to sustainability. Just think of the reusable shot glasses we’ll be introducing at the October Hasselt Jenever Festivities. As mayor it gives me great satisfaction that together with the Pukkelpop organisers we can continue to play a pioneering role at the occasion of Hasselt’s most famous festival. Thus we send a clear signal to the tens of thousands of Belgian and international festival-goers: together we can tackle the ever-growing waste streams. I am confident this will inspire other festivals to follow our example.”

Jan Bosselaers (Marketing Director Alken-Maes): “As a long-time Pukkelpop partner we didn’t hesitate a second to throw our weight behind this unique project. As of this edition all Pukkelpoppers can drink their fresh, cold Maes from 100% recyclable Maes cups. Innovation is ingrained in our DNA but for us as a beer brewer sustainability is also a primary focus. The fact that all our Alken-Maes beer is brewed using 100% green energy emphasises the depth of our commitment.”

Fost Plus spokeswoman Fatima Boudjaoui: “This Pukkelpop initiative is a highly tangible illustration of the concept ‘circular economy’. Also, it underlines one of the key mottos of Fost Plus, viz. ‘tomorrow’s objects are sorted today’. As a result, this is the type of innovative project we love to support.”


Pukkelpop is known for its focus on experimentation and participation. Recycling is yet another subject in which the festival has proven itself a star pupil. Pukkelpop outlawed plastic straws years ago and the use of plastic cutlery is also avoided as much as possible. For more than 15 years the organisers and recycling partner SUEZ have had an on-site recycling park where waste is sorted into the following fractions: PMD, paper and cardboard, glass, VFG (vegetable, fruit & garden waste), HHW (household hazardous waste), wood, iron, waste fats, packaging film, batteries and, of course, residual waste. The ambition is to filter 15 tonnes of PET waste from the residual waste heap.


Collecting fifteen tonnes of PET waste naturally requires the commitment of all parties involved, not in the least our visitors and the PKP crew. In the run-up to but also during and after the festival Pukkelpop staff will collect their cups and bottles. In addition, some 200 yellow PET waste bins will be dotted around the festival grounds and the backstage area. Festival-goers can help us sort waste by throwing empty cups and/or drink bottles in a PET waste bin or by collecting them and handing them in at one the Recycling Points in stacks of twenty and earning drink tokens [n2] in the process. At the festival grounds another one hundred volunteers will collect PET waste. To improve their visibility and recognisability they will wear yellow overalls.

After every show staff will be on hand to pick up the waste that was left behind. A big thank you to Mooimakers for their material support. All the collected PET waste will be checked manually on site on a sorting line by Tridea and volunteers working for SUEZ.


Pukkelpop spokesman Frederik Luyten: “The future will show whether this is a sustainable alternative for the disposable cups, which include just 40% of recyclable material. We’ve been collecting and recycling it separately for years. We will now try to write to create a closed circle system in which the PET waste is used to manufacture beer cups consisting of 100% recyclate. Whether this is also a viable alternative for the reusable cups that are all the rage right now is impossible to say at this time. That is why we have enlisted the help of OVAM. Together we will monitor this project very closely and examine the results in detail.”


At any rate, this prestigious pet PET project certainly looks very promising. The project’s cuddly factor has certainly won the love of the city of Hasselt, Maes, Fost Plus and Mooimakers.