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United Airlines Replaces Styrofoam Cups With New, Fully Recyclable Hot Beverage Cups

February 7, 2014 Aviation No Comments Email Email

United Airlines is introducing a new, eco-friendly coffee cup to its United Club beverage service beginning this month and on United flights beginning mid-March.

The insulating InCycle® cup, manufactured by Washington-based technology company MicroGREEN, is fully recyclable and made from up to 50 percent recycled materials. The InCycle cup will replace the non-recyclable Styrofoam hot beverage cups the airline currently uses.  

Through MicroGREEN’s technology, four and a half InCycle® cups are made from a single recycled water bottle in a waterless, additive-free recycling process. The cup is also insulated, which further reduces waste by eliminating the need for a sleeve.

“At United, we are constantly working to improve the sustainability of our products and reduce our waste at the same time,” said Angela Foster-Rice, United’s managing director of global environmental affairs and sustainability. “This new cup is not only aligned with our overallEco-SkiesSM commitment to the environment, it is another way our customers can feel good about flying with us.”

For a photo of the InCycle® cup, click here.

To watch a video on the InCycle® cup, click here.

United is also reviewing its operational recycling efforts to find ways to reduce waste and to increase recycling within its system. This includes a re-design of United’s inflight recycling policy and procedures to simplify the process for flight attendants, generate increased recycling volumes and minimize waste.

Over the past six years, United recycled 23.5 million pounds of aluminum cans, paper and plastic from waste generated on board aircraft and in its facilities. The new cup will be added to United’s recycling stream, reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills.

Beyond recycling and improving the sustainability of its products, United has demonstrated leadership in the environment by establishing ambitious, leading-edge initiatives and programs. United’s recent achievements include:

  • United in 2013 was recognized as the Eco-Aviation Gold Airline of the Year by Air Transport World.
  • The company in 2013 reduced CO2 emissions by more than 811,643 metric tons and reduced fuel consumption by 95 million gallons through fuel efficiency initiatives, exceeding its goal of reducing fuel consumption by 85 million gallons.
  • The airline increased orders for new Boeing and Airbus aircraft that are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than those they’ll replace, and now has more than 260 of these new, fuel efficient aircraft on order.
  • United is a leader in the advancement and use of alternative fuels, making history in commercial aviation with its partnership withAltAir Fuels to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive renewable jet fuel to its Los Angeles hub later this year.

For more information on United’s commitment to the environment, visit www.united.com/ecoskies.

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