Bottles up!

The key to the success of Plastic Cup is that it’s able to transform a difficult and dangerous exercise, like collecting trash, into a fun and inspiring team building exercise, into the adventure of a lifetime.
Plastic Cup is the first, and as far as we know only, initiative in the world that looks to fight pollution by using pollutants.

“Thank you for being interested in Plastic Cup. It’s a big adventure indeed, but to be able to decide if you want to join us, you probably want to find out more about our initiative. There a few things you’d want to know before you decide to give it a try and join the rowdy PET pirates,” Plastic Cup organizers

Discovered heavily polluted coastal areas
Removed pollutants from the river Tisza
Completely cleared polluted coastal areas
Boats of waste have been built

Local communities joined the environmental protection efforts and the movies helped carry word of the Tisza’s plight thousands.

PET Team

What are we fighting?

Plastic Cup was born from the desperation over what has become a regular event, the Tisza’s plastic flooding, aka the plastic bottle tsunami. At times, the pollution reaches levels that make it difficult to trust your own yes. Our initiative is an attempt to put a stop to the recurring waves of pollution, itdiscovers the worst-polluted spots and works to clean the flood plains and the river itself. The job is enormous and there are many ways you can help. You can fight for a cleaner Tisza by navigating down the river, giving school presentations, sitting in an editing room or even from a desk. It’s up to you which one you choose!

Phases of the Plastic Cup



PET Kupa hulladékgyűjtés
The longest phase of the Plastic Cup, a year-round activity during which volunteers, companies, schools, students and moviemakers try to collect as much trash as they can during coordinated or individual initiatives. The main goal is to clean the river and the flood plains, as well as the selective collection and recycling of the waste produced in the region. Plastic Cup will reach its goal when there won’t be enough waste in the Tisza to build the boats. To that end, the organizers wherever they can will join existing trash collection initiatives and will reach out to the local communities, encourage them to take part in the collection and seek to provide a positive example in the handling of waste.


PET Kupa újrafelhasználás
The recycling phase takes up a few weeks. Plastic Cup is different from other waste collection initiatives in that our job doesn’t end with the collection and depositing of the waste. The waste collected from the Tisza, the flood plains and from nearby communities goes through a spectacular transformation, before the wide public. The waste is used to build boats during Plastic Cup and they need to meet the requirements to be called PET boats. Plastic Cup takes care of collecting and depositing the waste, coordinates the treatment of the trash, its preparation for reuse and provides the conditions to construct the boats. Plastic Cup also takes care of the selective treatment of the waste that’s not suitable to build boats.


PET Kupa hajóverseny
This is the shortest phase of Plastic Cup, lasting only a week, but it’s the part that gets the biggest attention thanks to the streaming videos, news clips and movies. The race is between the PET boats. A vessel is considered a PET boat if its buoyancy is provided solely by recycled plastic bottles that fully or partially have been collected from the Tisza or its shores, which are propelled entirely by renewable energy (paddles, oars, sails, etc.), which during assembly used exclusively — with the exception of binding material — used/discarded/recycled parts, which are assembled at the time and location provided on the Plastic Cup application page, which are manned by crews that have fully or partially had previously participated in cleaning the Tisza, participates in the collection of plastic bottles and/or at the location of assembly participates in treating the bottles and in their preparation for reuse in the boats. The vessels that meet these conditions gain the title of PET boat and the members of their crews that of PET pirate.


Ministry for Innovation and Technology