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Savannah tests aluminum cups for to-go cocktails

October 9, 2021 GMT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — City officials say bars and restaurants in Savannah are toasting a successful trial run at serving to-go orders of beer and cocktails in aluminum cups.

Georgia’s oldest city recently ended a two-month pilot aimed at seeing whether businesses can reduce their use of plastic cups by switching to aluminum ones that people can reuse or recycle. Sipping from to-go cups of alcohol on the streets of Savannah’s downtown historic district has long been a part of the city’s bustling nightlife.

City Alderman Nick Palumbo pushed for the trial to let businesses test the aluminum cups. The city council agreed to temporarily add aluminum alongside paper and plastic cups allowed for serving to-go drinks during the pilot period. Bars and restaurants ended up using about 50,000 aluminum cups.

“We know that diverted 50,000 pieces of plastic out of the waste stream, out of our environment which is just a huge hit,” Palumbo said.

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Carey Ferrara of the Gaslight Group, which owns several Savannah restaurants, agreed the pilot was successful. She said the biggest downside is that the aluminum cups cost at least four times more than plastic. She said businesses might be able to reduce the extra cost by combining their orders.

“We can work together to purchase the cups in a quantity to make the price low enough for us,” Ferrara said.