Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand trials edible coffee cups to reduce waste

Air New Zealand has begun trialling edible coffee cups with customers in the air and on the ground as it explores new ways to meet its sustainability challenges.

Air New Zealand Senior Manager Customer Experience Niki Chave says that while the airline’s current cups are compostable, the ultimate goal would be to remove these totally from landfills.

“We’ve been working in partnership with innovative New Zealand company Twiice to explore the future of edible coffee cups, which are vanilla flavoured and leakproof. 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,” Niki says.

Twiice Co-founder Jamie Cashmore says the edible cups demonstrate that new and sustainable ways of producing 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,” Jamie says.

The Twiice edible cup trial follows Air New Zealand’s recent switch to plant-based cups on board all aircraft and in lounges. The plant-based cups are made from paper and corn instead of plastic, which enable them to break down in a commercial composter. Switching to plant-based cups is expected to prevent around 15 million cups from going to landfill annually. The airline is also encouraging customers to bring their own reusable cups on board aircraft and into its lounges.

Niki says Air New Zealand will continue to trial Twiice’s edible coffee cups and work with the company and other partners to explore scaling options that could make it a viable long-term product for the airline.

Air New Zealand currently serves more than eight million cups of coffee each year.