Article from BBC News - 5 December 2019
New Zealand's national airline says it is trialling edible coffee cups in a bid to reduce the amount of waste on board its planes.
The cups, by local company Twiice, are made from vanilla-flavoured biscotti - and are apparently "leak-proof". They are a coffee cup made of cereals that you can munch on like an ice cream cone, once you've downed your drink. Apparently slightly sweet and crisp, it will hold your coffee for up to 40 minutes. And if you decide not to snack on it, it will biodegrade within weeks.
Air New Zealand, which serves more than eight million cups of coffee a year, said it wanted to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
In a statement, Air New Zealand said the coffee cups were being tested "in the air and on the ground" as part of its efforts to find "innovative ways to meet sustainability challenges".
"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," Air New Zealand's Niki Chave said.
It's gradually becoming common knowledge that it's not as easy to recycle your takeaway coffee cup as people may have thought.
It's the mixture of paper and plastic in their inner lining - designed to make them both heat and leakproof - that causes difficulties.
In the UK, some 2.5 billion coffee cups are estimated to be thrown away each year and only 0.25% of them are recycled.
Air New Zealand said the trial of edible cups followed a recent switch to compostable cups made of paper and corn, used in all of its aircraft and lounges.
Air New Zealand has also been fielding concerns from customers on Twitter about dietary requirements. It told a vegan customer that the cups contained egg, while Twiice said the cups also contained gluten and might contain traces of nut and dairy.
The airline has stressed that its plant-based cups will continue to be available on all flights during the trial.
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