So much of sustainability is about making do with less: less meat on menus, fewer plastic water bottles at meetings, carefully curated giveaways to eliminate waste. But Air New Zealand has introduced a green initiative which gives passengers an extra treat: Edible coffee cups which taste like biscotti.
The cups are made by New Zealand company twiice and are leak- and crumble-proof and taste like vanilla biscotti. The company claims the cups are free from preservatives and additives, but because they are wheat-based there is no gluten-free version yet.
Air New Zealand estimates that the cups, available on flights and in Auckland International Airport lounges, are on track to replace 15.5 million single-use cups by the end of the year. Last year, the airline announced efforts to reduce plastic dependence with a series of changes including removing plastic water bottles and sauce packets on flights.
In 2015, Kentucky Fried Chicken trialed edible cups lined with white chocolate in the United Kingdom but the program didn’t take off, possibly because the large cups contained many calories.
Other organizations have attempted to make single-use cups less environmentally destructive but not all of them have been a success. Disney eliminated plastic lids from paper cups at its parks, only to have to replace the cups with sturdier Solo cups to cut down on the number of spills. There are, though, several lidless-cup options that will soon be on the market, including a design from start-up Unocup.