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Case Studies

Melbourne Marathon Festival

In what turned out to be Australia’s largest ever marathon, 37,185 people took to the streets of Melbourne on Sunday 13 October. All water and isotonic drinks served to runners on the course and at the finish line at the iconic MCG were served in Detpak’s RecycleMe™ cups.


Waste management at events continues to be a concern for our communities in a time when the impact has never been more important and prominent. Whilst running events are relatively low impact on the local environment, the responsible management of waste, particularly from cups used for drinks to hydrate runners is a key focus for the Melbourne Marathon Festival’s sustainability strategy.

In a bid to continually reduce the environmental impact of the Melbourne Marathon, organisers approached Detpak to assist with a sustainable solution for the thousands of drinks supplied to runners on the course at the 2019 festival.

Image of volunteers handing out RecycleMe cups at the Melbourne Marathon
Image of runners handed RecycleMe cups at the Melbourne Marathon


Detpak’s sustainability experts recommended that the Melbourne Marathon use their next generation lined RecycleMe™ cups and collection system to manage the waste generated by drinks on course.

Melbourne Marathon organisers worked closely with Detpak’s marketing team and in-house art department to develop custom cobranded RecycleMe™ cups to promote that the cups are recyclable.

The RecycleMe™ system, backed by Shred-X, enables all cups collected to be recycled into paper products. RecycleMe™ collection partners, Shred-X were also engaged to develop a bespoke collection solution for cups along the course as well as at the finish line.


There were approximately 270,000 cups used with an impressive 74% collection rate. That is over 200,000 paper cups collected for recycling and diverted from landfill. The strong cellulose fibres used to make paper cups can be recycled up to 7 times†, reducing the burden on virgin resources in the production of paper products, meaning the cups collected equate to 50 trees worth of paper fibre savedˆ.

It was a pleasure working with Detpak as our Sustainability Partner for the 2019 Melbourne Marathon Festival. Implementing the RecycleMe™ initiative means that we can celebrate a milestone achievement in taking the important step toward reducing our events environmental impact through the process of recycling as many of our paper water cups as possible.
Marcus Gale, Festival Director, Melbourne Marathon Festival