Cutting Edge Program At Santa Barbara Bowl Keeping Thousands Of Plastic Cups A Year Out Of Garbage

Jul 25, 2019

It’s a beautiful summer night at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and a big crowd is geared up for a concert headlined by the Seattle based rock band “The Head and The Heart." Hundreds of people are getting food, and drinking wine and beer as they wait for the headliners to take the stage. Some of the people are drinking from silver, stainless steel cups, which are much more than souvenirs.

Bowl Executive Director Rick Boeller says they are part of a cutting edge campaign to reduce plastic cup waste. It’s part of an effort kicked off in 2014 by musician Jack Johnson. He gave away the cups at some of his concerts at the Bowl to encourage recycling. The cups give concertgoers a low impact way of helping the environment.

But, there is also a financial incentive to use them over and over at the Bowl. You get a dollar off every time you get a beverage refill.

Ricky Biggs has one of the Jack Johnson logo cups, and says it’s a fun reminder of the concert, and a nice way to help the environment.

Bowl officials say the effort was the first of its kind at a concert venue when it kicked off five years ago. Moss Jacobs is Senior Vice President with Goldenvoice, the AEG Live company which books acts at the Bowl, and produces the massive Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

He says while Jack Johnson really kicked of the reusable cup concept, other acts have embraced it. They’ve done versions for "The Who," and have one in the works for "Incubus."

It’s estimated that the reusable cups are cutting disposable cup use by more than 14,000 a season. And, Bowl officials say as people continue to get the reusable versions, they expect to see a continuing drop in plastic cup use at the concert venue.