Aviation

Air New Zealand trials edible coffee cups as it explores innovative ways to cut waste

Air New Zealand has taken another step on its sustainability journey by trialling edible coffee cups.

Edible, vanilla-flavoured coffee cups could be the next step on the Kiwi carrier’s journey to explore new and innovative ways to meet its sustainability targets.

Air New Zealand currently serves more than eight million cups of coffee each year, but the airline has been making headway on cutting wastage significantly.

The initiative to incorporate edible cups follows the airline’s recent switch to plant-based coffee cups – a change expected to prevent some 15 million cups from going to landfill per year.

“Here at the Air New Zealand [Auckland] Regional Lounge we serve about 600 coffees on any given morning, so having something fun and sustainable like an edible coffee cup – amazing,” Air New Zealand’s lounge leader, Stratos Scanlon, said.

Developed by New Zealand company Twiice, the cups are made from corn and paper. As well as being edible, the cups are also leakproof and heatproof.

But not only are the cups sustainable, they’re apparently delicious, too.

“I thought it was very pleasant. It was a nice way to finish the coffee,” one customer told Air New Zealand.

“I’m suitably impressed,” another said. “I’ve just sat down and ordered two six-packs for Christmas gifts.”

As well as being used as a coffee cup, the edible vessels could also be a solution for food, too.

Jamie Cashmore, co-founder of Twiice, said the edible cups could play a big role in demonstrating that new and innovative ways of packaging are achievable.

“It’s terrific that Air New Zealand has partnered with us to showcase to its customers and the world that a little bit of Kiwi ingenuity and innovation could have a really positive impact on the environment while at the same time delivering a really cool and tasty customer experience,” Cashmore said.

Air New Zealand said it will continue to trial the cups and work with the company and other partners to explore scaling options that could make it a viable long-term product.

Moreover, the move could be a reminder to the rest of the industry to continue to innovate to become more sustainable. And it could mean flicking the bird to bikkies on the side of your favourite brew, too.

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