USEFUL PURPOSE: Arena is the newest venue to use r.Cups, a reusable drink container, as part of a test program at the Los Angeles facility. (Courtesy venue) Arena launches a short test program for reusable plastic cups at this week’s Depeche Mode concerts at the Los Angeles venue.

AEG, which owns and operates the arena, signed a deal with r.World, a leading provider of reuse materials, and whose products are already part of multiple sports and entertainment venues across the country.

The test is limited to the two sold-out Depeche Mode shows, Dec. 15 and 17. AEG will evaluate the results to determine if the program could be expanded to Los Angeles Kings, Lakers and Clippers games, said arena spokesperson Cara Vanderhook.

The test falls in line with AEG’s sustainability initiatives and its goal for reducing single-use plastic across the company, starting with its flagship facility.

Arena concessionaire Levy will sell both soft drinks and alcohol in reusable cups, branded as r.Cups.

The test is initially restricted to two of the eight size cups available: cocktails, craft beers and wine will be served in 12-ounce cups, while domestic and premium draft beers will be served in 20-ounce cups, said Lee Zeidman, president of Arena.

Levy will still sell cans of beer and sodas, including Coca-Cola products in recycled materials, Zeidman said.

The reusable r.Cups are branded with the message to “please return me, I’m reusable,” informing patrons to toss the cups into 182 collection bins distributed around the arena, identifying them for r.Cups only.

“They get a new cup each time they go to concession stands,” Zeidman said. Workers with ABM Industries, the arena’s janitorial service, have been trained to collect the cups put in those bins, he said.

For AEG, the total cost for supplying r.Cups is 4.5 times more than purchasing single-use plastic cups, but officials are negotiating with r.World to reduce that expense as part of the test, Zeidman said.

The costs will not be passed on to the consumer in higher drink prices.

“We will have our normal concert beverage pricing, but we are looking at data from this pilot program to sit down with current and future partners about the possibility of teaming up with us to reduce costs and sponsoring the program,” Zeidman said.

On its own, r.World could potentially expand its partnership with AEG to include Novo at LA Live, a 2,400-capacity club, and festivals run by AEG’s network of promoters, he said.

Elsewhere, r.Cups have been served at Soldier Field in Chicago;, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco; Fiddler’s Green, Denver; and The Showbox, Seattle.