Carnaval 2024 cup system

Since 2016, bars and pubs have switched from glass to soft plastic cups during carnaval (Dutch carnival). However, this has led to an increase in plastic waste. To tackle this, the hospitality sector, in collaboration with the municipality, is trialling a new recycling system for carnaval in 2024. The idea is for people to return their cups at the bar for recycling.

How it works

From Friday 9 to Tuesday 13 February 2024, your first drink at any outdoor bar or vendor will include an additional charge of €0.50 for your cup. For subsequent drinks, bring your cup back to the bar. You'll get a new cup and you'll only pay for the drink. When you're ready to head home, return your cup at any bar for recycling. Please note, you won't get any money back for the returned cups.

By returning your cups, you're helping our waste collectors and reducing litter. The returned cups will be recycled into new plastic products.

Explanation of the cup system

Why this system?

This initiative is in response to government regulations on single-use plastic products (in Dutch only). Since 1 July 2023, we have been required to reduce our use of disposable plastics, such as cups and packaging. Event organisers choosing soft plastic cups are required to collect and recycle 75% of the used plastic.


  • Government regulations require plastic cups to be either reusable or easily recyclable. For 2024 the Maastricht and Heuvelland branch of Horeca Nederland has decided, in collaboration with various hospitality business owners, to use soft plastic cups and recycle them efficiently. This is more practical and safer than using reusable hard plastic cups.

  • The cups are recycled and repurposed into new plastic products.

  • The Maastricht and Heuvelland branch of Horeca Nederland has decided to standardise service as much as possible. Bars and vendors will serve drinks in uniform plastic cups. It's up to the business owner to decide whether drinks can be served in cups brought by customers.

  • A deposit is only required for food sold in plastic packaging, and each vendor decides whether to apply this.

  • This cup system is specifically for carnaval, although other events may work with similar systems.

Learn more about carnaval

Visit our page about carnaval to learn more.