Student - October 12, 2017

Green Office wants to get rid of disposable cups

Roelof Kleis

Koptopus is the name of the creature made of disposable cups which graced the Sustainability Market in the Forum on Monday 9 October. One of the aims of the market, organized by Green Office Wageningen, was to draw attention to the large amounts of garbage generated by students and staff on campus. The organization presented a possible solution too: the KeepCup.

Koptopus, an octopus made of disposable cups, graced the Sustainability Market in the Forum on Monday. © Guy Ackermans

Koptopus’s name is a reference to the plastic soup in the oceans, explains Ines Weingarten of Green Office. It took her colleagues and her an hour to cobble the creature together. The several hundred disposable cups it is made of were salvaged from garbage in the Forum. And that is just a fraction of the waste produced in one day.

Originally, Green Office wanted to dump the entire garbage heap on the podium in the hall of the Forum to give people an idea of the scale of the problem. But the podium was already full of market stalls with sustainable initiatives and products. Including the KeepCup, a mug made of recycled plastic which went on sale this week at catering outlets on campus.


The person behind this offensive against the plastic cup is Lilo Trogisch. The German PhD candidate (Sociology of Development and Change) was horrified when she arrived on campus last year. ‘Shocking’, was how she described the amount of plastic used every day in the canteens. ‘And that at a sustainable university like Wageningen.’

Trogisch discovered the KeepCup in Sydney – it is an Australian ‘invention’ – and made the cup a hit on the campus there. Then she repeated the trick in London, and now it’s Wageningen’s turn. The Sustainability Market in the Forum marks the start of Seriously Sustainable Week, during which sustainability-related activities will be going on daily up to and including Sunday.