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U. of Colorado First to Sell Beer in Aluminum Cups

Paul Steinbach

In its ongoing effort to achieve zero waste at home football games, a quest that began in 2008, the University of Colorado will serve beer exclusively in reusable and recyclable aluminum cups this season.

The cups, manufactured by Ball Corporation and bearing the CU Buffalos logo, will debut this Saturday when Folsom Field welcomes the University of Nebraska.

The CU athletic department — which debuted the first NCAA Division I athletics sustainability program, called Ralphie's Green Stampede, more than 10 years ago — will make Folsom Field the first collegiate venue in the nation to introduce the aluminum cups to sports fans, according to a release on the university's website. In another first, CU earlier this year, CU became the nation's first university to sign the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, joining other adopters such as the New York Yankees, the NBA and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The agreement requires entities to reduce climate impact and promote responsible and sustainable consumption.

From AB: Colorado Pursues Zero Waste at Home Football Games

Soda and wine will still be sold in plastic cups, but the university’s goal is to be entirely plastic-free in its sports venues by next year. For now, the aluminum cups will also be made available at volleyball and basketball games inside the CU Events Center.

“As an athletic department and university, we are proud of all we have done thus far and will continue to do in reducing our carbon footprint,” CU athletic director Rick George said in the release. “Being conscious of the environment is not only the right thing to do, it sets an example for our fans and everyone else watching that they should make sustainable choices, too.”

Ball's research shows that 67 percent of U.S. consumers say they will visit a venue more often if it uses aluminum cups instead of plastic and that 78 percent of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years. Aluminum is the most sustainable packaging material available. In fact, 75 percent of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today, according to the CU release.

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