Air New Zealand's 'genius' new trial to reduce plastic waste on planes

Air New Zealand has introduced a delicious new way of serving coffee to its passengers in an effort to reduce its environmental impact.

The Airline Of The Year announced on Wednesday it will begin trialling edible biscotti coffee cups on flights.

“We're always looking for ways to reduce waste on board, so we're trialing an edible biscotti coffee cup from twiice,” the airline wrote on Twitter.

The Airline Of The Year announced on Wednesday it will begin trialling edible biscotti coffee cups on flights. Source: Air New Zealand Twitter

“Who's eating their cup once they've finished what's inside?” they asked their followers.

The post quickly drew attention, with the majority of commenters eager to have a taste.

“Genius,” one person said.

“Great idea, I hope it works and the idea catches on,” a woman said.

Others criticised Air New Zealand for not doing more to help the environment.

“Yummy! Now, to address a really HUGE environmental issue, when will you stop fuelling your planes with fossil fuels?” another woman wrote.

Air New Zealand’s recycling efforts

In 2018, the company removed single-use plastic straws, stir sticks, eye mask wrappers and plastic toothbrushes from lounges and aircrafts, according to its website. 

“Over a 12 month period this will see the airline reduce its plastic footprint by 260,000 plastic toothbrushes, 3,000 straws, 7.1 million stirrers and 260,000 eye mask wrappers,” a spokesperson said in a press release announcing the changes.

In October last year, Air New Zealand pledged to replace five single-use products across domestic flights, including water cups, coffee cups and lids, Koru Hour cheese plates and lids, as well as nine types of plastic bags.

In 2018, the company removed single-use plastic straws, stir sticks, eye mask wrappers and plastic toothbrushes from lounges and aircrafts, according to its website. Source: AAP

Air New Zealand's Head of Sustainability Lisa Daniell said at the time that the airline's employees and customers had been a catalyst for changes.

"Plastics are top of mind for us and our customers. Several of our waste and plastic reduction initiatives have been brought about by our employees telling us we can do better in this area. We know these are small steps but given our scale, they do result in a significant amount of single-use plastic being avoided,” she said.

The efforts are expected to divert 150 tonnes of waste from landfills every year.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the global industry generated an estimated 5.2m tonnes of inflight waste in 2016 alone.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Air New Zealand for comment.

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