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Iguana Cup Galapagos

Organised for: Orcatec Galapagos

OrcaTec is working towards the reduction of single-use plastics on the Galapagos Islands since 2014. The local consumption of disposable plastic cups was an estimated 1.2 million per year (3290 cups per day). The IGUANA CUP project aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic cups in Galapagos by at least a third by the end of 2020. This project promotes a new perspective on product use and sparks change in consumers’ behaviour.


IGUANA CUP, a re-usable cup which can be used up to a least 400 times. The IGUANA CUP is placed in a multiway system for Coffee-to-go which started in July 2018. It is an essential part of the transition towards a circular economy on the Islands. Hereby consumers are empowered to make conscious choices in favour of the environment.


The Cup is named after the endemic pink land iguana Conolophus Martae which live remote in Wolf volcano on Northern Isabela Island. The species was first discovered only recently in 2009 and is considered mystic around scientists. It is estimated that only 200 individuals exist which never had any contact to plastic contamination. Therefore, the pink iguana is used to show how we can learn from nature.

There are many possibilities which arise once we start to connect us with nature and discover that many natural processes have been developed over millions of years to solve natural and human needs. Through our project we motivate participants also to start about their own business promoting behavior change and natural processes.


Already 53 Coffee-to-go-sellers such as restaurants, cafes and hotels on the Galapagos Islands are part of the multiway-system and using the IGUANA CUP frequently. The feedback is very positive, and the project is backed by the local community. Also, 7 stores on the mainland in Quito, Otavalo, Ibarra and San Jose are participating. The establishment and running of the multiway-system on the Islands are done in close cooperation with a partner in Germany. The cups are made from polypropylene, dishwasher safe and 100% recyclable and without BPA.


In order to drastically reduce disposable cups on the Islands by 2020 it will need at least 5000 IGUANA CUPs in the multiway-system and 150 participating partners. Also, the promotional activities must be increased for the project. The IGUANA mascot is a first step into draw attention of locals and tourists to the project. However, more promotional activities are needed.


You can help us also by following us on Instagram @Iguanacup or to spread the word using Iguana Cup during your tourism activities where still many single-use cups are used.


Currently we started a collaboration with the App @Refillmybottle since they have a complementary model to Iguana Cup. The application Refillmybottle is free and allows you to find the next water station where you can refill your Iguana Cup or your reusable bottle. If you see a water station please register this place with picture, coordinates and prize per refill in the App.

Organised by

Max Martin