This Airline Is Now Serving Edible Coffee Cups to Reduce Plastic Waste

That next cup of mid-flight joe is going to look and taste a little different.

Air travel isn’t typically an eco-friendly venture. In fact, each flight generally leaves a pretty big carbon footprint; the aviation department of the International Civil Aviation Association (a United Nations agency), estimates emissions of carbon dioxide from airplanes is expected to triple by the year 2050. This is troublesome because in 2018 the co2 emissions had already reached over 900 million metric tons from air travel.

While that issue is going to take require a lot of attention, environmentally conscious carriers are trying to find more immediate ways to reduce waste within the interior of their aircrafts. These are 20 everyday changes you can make to help the environment.

A different kind of cuppa

Air New Zealand is testing out an edible coffee cup onboard its flights. The sustainable vessels are vanilla flavored and leakproof, making them a seemingly ideal—and delicious—option to serve both coffee and ice cream to passengers. The cups, produced by New Zealand company twiice, are part of the carrier’s ongoing efforts to go green. Similarly, these are 8 ways to go green without even noticing.

Although Air New Zealand currently uses compostable cups on all of its flights, the edible cups would take their sustainable efforts even further.

What are passengers who’ve received their java in an edible cup saying about the new option?

“The cups have been a big hit with the customers who have used these and we’ve also been using the cups as dessert bowls,” says Niki Chave, Air New Zealand’s senior manager of customer experience.

air new zealand edible coffee cupscourtesy Air New ZealandWhat’s in a cup

Currently, the cups are twiice’s only edible product, but the company says they expect to launch new items soon. According to its website, the coffee cups are made from wheat flour, sugar, egg, and vanilla essence, meaning that those with a gluten allergy will need to steer clear. Twiice also warns that the cups may contain traces of “dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame seeds.”

Still, this is a huge step in the right direction, and those worried about allergies can use one of Air New Zealand’s plant-based cups which are made from paper and corn instead of plastic. Check out 22 big companies that are getting rid of plastic for good.

air new zealand edible coffee cupscourtesy Air New ZealandSmall change, big impact

Already by using the plant-based compostable cups across their flights, Air New Zealand estimates they will prevent approximately 15 million cups from ending up in a landfill per year. That’s a lot of plastic.

Earlier this year Air New Zealand made a commitment to reduce plastic waste by nixing individual plastic water bottles from Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins. That move alone was expected to keep 460,000 bottles from landfills on a yearly basis and even decrease carbon emissions by more than 300,000 kilograms by reducing weight on the aircraft.

The airline also advocates for customers to bring their own reusable bottles on board. “It’s great to see more and more customers are bringing their reusable drink bottles and keep cups on board,” says Anna Palairet, Air New Zealand’s acting head of sustainability. “We encourage people to do this—our cabin crew team is happy to fill these.” Find out what it’s really like to go plastic-free.

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