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Live Nation bets on high-tech reusable cups to combat waste –
Picture the aftermath of a festival: A sea of fans depart, leaving behind any number of empty water bottles, disposable cups, wristbands, lost IDs and maybe even some used-up whipped cream chargers.For all the environmental lip service we hear from megastars, the carbon footprint of live entertainment has only recently received the attention it deserves. Trash is just one piece of that puzzle, and its currently in Live Nations spotlight as the events giant pumps $5 million into Turn Systems.Turn aims to help venues do away with single-use cups, and so far a series of trials show that the system is working, Live Nation claims. Once their drinks all gone, a scannable code at the bottom of the cup opens a slot at the top of a fancy, custom-branded collection bin.For many folks, thats all theyll see, but as an extra return incentive, fans can also sign up via an app to be entered into giveaways for things like free merch and VIP upgrades, said Live Nation sustainability director Lucy August-Perna in a call with TechCrunch. Behind the scenes, San Francisco-based Turns software tracks how many cups wind up back into its system and the company shares that data with venues.Live Nation says it trialed the tech at several events this year, including Lollapalooza, which saw a 93% return rate. In the U.K., the 2 billion or so disposable cups that hit landfills every year yield over 152,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, per a 2020 Guardian analysis thats roughly as much CO as 33,000 gasoline-powered passenger cars emit annually.
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