Ovar carnival introduces ‘reusable cups’ to ‘reduce environmental footprint’

in World · 28-02-2019 09:59:00 · 0 Comments

As Portugal gears up to explode into colour for its annual carnival celebrations next week the central Portugal town of Ovar – which hosts one of the biggest carnival parades in the country – has said it will be introducing “reusable” cups to “reduce its environmental footprint”.

Carnival will be going green in Ovar as the event’s organisers said it has distributed some 60,000 reusable cups to bars and stand-holders, who will be serving drinks throughout the five-day event, to replace single-use plastic containers.

This, the organisers explained, will reduce the event’s environmental footprint by 80 percent.

The measure was announced in November last year and requires some 30 temporary catering establishments - licensed to operate in public spaces only between this Friday and next Tuesday, the pinnacle of Carnival, to make reusable containers available to customers.

“This means we can say we have an effectively sustainable Carnival, because we are going to reduce the environmental footprint of the event by 80 percent”, said Councillor Alexandre Rosas, the event’s main coordinator.

According to the councillor, the 2018 edition saw around 100,000 disposable plastic cups used and all of them were thrown away.
This year, the new ‘eco-cup’ is available with two graphic images - one allusive to the 2019 Carnival poster and another with the general symbol of the event - and the organisation expects “the consumer will reuse the same container for each drink” and revellers “can even take the glass home to collect the different versions”.

While conceding that “there will always be some [cups] left behind”, Alexandre Rosas believes that at the end of this year’s festivities “only 400 to 500 glasses will be discarded”.

Regarding cost, the council invested €15,000 in purchasing 60,000 glasses which were later sold on to entrepreneurs “at cost” for 25 cents each, and will be resold to the public at 50 cents.

Alexandre Rosas says that the change is being welcomed, “across the board” and among the entire community.

“Praise for the initiative is unanimous because people are increasingly considerate of these environmental issues and the owners of the bars also see it as a new business opportunity,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister António Costa has granted the country’s civil servants a day off next Tuesday to celebrate Carnival.

In the document, seen and reported by Lusa News Agency, the Prime Minister considers that “while Carnival Tuesday does not appear on the list of compulsory holidays stipulated by law, there is an established tradition of party organisation in Portugal in this period”.

After this introductory note, the Prime Minister went on to add that “tolerance is granted to workers who perform public duties in local or central administration, and in public institutes, on 5 March, 2019”.

In most of the country carnival celebrations will run from 1-5 March, with next Tuesday (5 March) being the peak of the event.


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