The r.World team brought together the White House and other national leaders to talk reuse in D.C.
When Carolyn Hoskinson, who leads the EPA’s efforts to end single-use waste, met Michael Martin, the founder of r.Cup and its parent company, r.World, at an event in March 2023, she understood immediately he’s as passionate about reuse as she is.
“We were chatting while drinking out of reusable r.Cups,” she says, “and we said to each other, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could plan an event around Earth Day to grow the reuse movement?’”
“It was a ludicrous idea,” she says—Earth Day was just around the corner—but within six weeks they were speaking to a room full of leaders from the largest government agencies, including representatives from the White House, along with other national leaders in the reuse space.
Commitment to reuse from every level
Here’s a glimpse at what some of those leaders had to say about reuse, r.Cup, and r.Cup’s founder, Michael Martin.
The White House
“We cannot recycle our way out of the growing plastic waste crisis, so today we’re here because this administration and across the Federal family: We are excited about reuse.”
-Jonathan Black, Senior Director for Chemical Safety and Plastic Pollution Prevention at the White House Council on Environmental Quality
“Partnering with innovators like Mike and r.Cup has been critical for us to learn and to pilot and to really experiment—because from experimentation we can learn. And that allows us the opportunity to expand and to put more reuse into more environments and locations. It’s critical to our goals.”
-Anton VanZyl, Director of Sustainability at Coca-Cola
Concerts and music festivals quickly go from vibrant soul-feeding gatherings to plastic graveyards. The Atlantis, our new venue opening on May 30, will serve Coke, cocktails, beer, and wine in reusable r.Cups, as well as alternatives to plastic water bottles….We want to believe that ours is going to be the first venue open never having used single-use plastics.”
-Donna Westmoreland, COO of The Anthem, the music venue in D.C. where this event was held, and COO of The IMP Group
“Initiatives to implement effective reuse systems, like this effort (by r.Cup) here at The Anthem, and those that we’ve heard about this morning, are essential ways that we can stop waste at its source, and prevent some of these common types of marine debris from continuing to enter our environment.”
-Scott Lundgren, Director of the Office of Response & Restoration at NOAA (the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)
“It’s an exciting time right now.”
The event also included leaders from the Department of the Interior, Department of State, GSA, Upstream, Sodexo, and Reuse Seattle, which is relying on r.World’s wash hub—and r.World’s expertise in building reuse infrastructure—to expand reuse throughout their city.
“It’s such an exciting time right now,” said Erin Simon, Vice President of Plastic Waste and Business at the World Wildlife Fund, one of the hosts of the day’s event. “There’s so much momentum, so much action, and we have all the right people coming together to do the things we need to to set us on a better course for the future of our planet.”
“To have all those voices in one room—all of us focused on building the reuse movement together—it’s why I started r.World in the first place. It’s why we are laser-focused on building the infrastructure that will make reuse a part of every American’s daily life,” says Michael. “I couldn’t be more excited for what we can accomplish together.”
r.World is now providing its r.Cup solution throughout the city of Washington, D.C., and local venues, festivals, and office complexes are signing on to end single-use waste by bringing r.Cup into their operations.