By Stacey Leasca
December 05, 2019

The airline introduced its own edible coffee cups for both in-flight and on-ground service to further enhance its sustainability offerings. Though the initiative may sound small, it could help cut more than eight million coffee cups from their trash each year.

Credit: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

“We’ve been working in partnership with innovative New Zealand company ‘twiice’ to explore the future of edible coffee cups, which are vanilla flavored 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,” Air New Zealand Senior Manager Customer Experience Niki Chave explained of the new culinary invention. Chave noted, while the airline’s current cups are compostable, the ultimate goal is to remove all cups from landfills.

“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,” ‘twiice’ co-founder Jamie Cashmore said in a statement. Cashmore added, people may see more edible products soon as the company is working on extending its edible range and expects to roll out new products next year.

Credit: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Beyond the edible cups, Air New Zealand also recently switched to using plant-based cups on board all aircraft and in its lounges. Those cups are made from paper and corn, which break down in a commercial composter, unlike plastic. This switch alone, Air New Zealand said, is expected to prevent around 15 million cups from going to landfill annually.

This is just one part of Air New Zealand’s efforts to lessen its impact on the environment. Its larger plan includes stabilizing its carbon emission growth by 2020, and to have a reduction of 50 percent in net emissions by 2050. Check out more of its environmental goals in its sustainability report here.