Earlier this month, Glastonbury Festival announced that it would be one-upping other festivals once again by introducing 200,000 re-usable stainless steel cups to its bars this year.

Glastonbury's Love The Farm, Leave No Trace pledge.

Glastonbury’s Love The Farm, Leave No Trace pledge.

The past few years has seen many environmentally conscious festivals introduce re-usable plastic cups in a bid to reduce the massive amounts of waste that can be caused by major festivals, but this new scheme from Glastonbury also hopes to help support the struggling British steel industry, after thousands of job cuts have been announced in just the last year.

The festival organisers have been working on this project for three years, and now, finally, the steel cups will be in circulation across 10 of the festival’s major bars for 2016.

Made by APS Birmingham, the cups have been made from food grade 80 percent British stainless steel and produced on a press that was previously used to make Land Rover parts.

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis says, “I’m told the cup initiative is a bit of a revolution. But for me, the single most important thing was being able to source British stainless steel for the cups from the place where it was invented – Sheffield, and then to take it on to the home of manufacture – Birmingham.”

“Week after week, there’s a story in the national press about jobs in the UK steel industry being put at risk. There’s seemingly no end to the negative slide of this critical industry, and if the jobs, skills and infrastructure are lost they won’t be replaced.”

Just like paying 5p for a plastic bag at the supermarket, this is all part of the Reusable Revolution. You simply pay a £5 deposit when you get your first pint and then every time you return to the bar they will replace it with a nice clean one.

And, if you’re worried about your hands getting cold whilst holding your icy, steel pint then you can grab hold of one of the upcycled designer sheepskin cup holders manufactured by Somerset leather and sheepskin company and eco partner, Owen Barry.

Owen Barry's eco cups

Owen Barry’s eco cups

Glastonbury festival has commissioned 200,000 of the snazzy cup holders, which are created using materials leftover from the company’s sheepskin coat and accessories production.

The cup holders feature the Owen Barry union flag tag to remind festival goers and cup holder collectors alike that they are 100% British-made in a traditional, family-run factory.

Let’s hope this will encourage other UK businesses to think about how they can support our industries during these challenging times. Photo credit – Ben Andrews.