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ZooTampa switches to more sustainable aluminum cups

They are lightweight and customized with animal graphics.
ZooTampa's new aluminum cups, which are made by the Ball Corporation, are "infinitely recyclable."
ZooTampa's new aluminum cups, which are made by the Ball Corporation, are "infinitely recyclable." [ Zoo Tampa ]
Published Oct. 22
Updated Oct. 22

ZooTampa at Lowry Park announced Friday it has switched to recyclable aluminum cups in response to “growing consumer preference for more sustainable options” when it comes to sipping a beverage.

The Ball Corporation, which makes the lightweight aluminum cups, has customized them with ZooTampa animal graphics that are used to serve Coca-Cola products and water. They are currently available for guests to purchase.

“ZooTampa is always looking for innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact,” said Tiffany Burns, the zoo’s director of conservation and research. “Not only will this have positive benefits for wildlife and people, but it reaffirms Ball Corporation’s support of the vital work done by ZooTampa.”

Single-use plastic cups pose a big environmental problem, with billions left on the ground or placed in trash bins at concerts, sporting events and theme parks each year.

Ball Corp. earlier this year said it was prompted by consumer demand to make its aluminum cups available for the first time at major retailers including Kroger, Target, Albertsons and CVS.

But aluminum cups are only “green” if they are recycled, as noted by the business and sustainability writer Joel Makower, founder of GreenBiz.com.

“Reusable cups, barely a blip two years ago, are catching on in public venues,” Makower said. “As arenas and stadiums reopen post-pandemic, several are embracing a new environmental ethic, including promoting both recycling and reuse.”