Edible cups instead of take-out disposables

Single-use items are the bane of modernity. Cutlery, plates, straws, plastic food containers and take-out coffee cups. The latter is a special problem, because in most cases they are not even recyclable. They are disqualified by a thin layer of polyethylene guaranteeing that the paper cup with a hot drink will not melt in our hands. In Great Britain alone, 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are used every year, and only 1% of them are recycled [1]. It is worth noting that in GB there are 3 plants adapted to do this – some countries do not have such possibility at all. Therefore, limiting the use of disposable cups for hot drinks is very important. Some caffes make costumers pay for take-out packaging, others offer discounts if they come with their own cup, while others introduce compostable containers. Twiice company from New Zealand goes a step further and offers a great alternative – edible cups made of biscuits.

paper cups

No waste is welcome

Today, there are already several promising alternatives to disposable cups. Despite this, waste remains (to a greater or lesser extent) a problem. Twiice was the first to decide to deal with this problem almost completely. Edible cups made of biscuits, as the name implies, can simply be eaten. If you don’t feel like having vanilla biscuit to your coffee, you can dispose of it without remorse. It will decompose in almost any conditions (it contains only natural ingredients).

Manufacturers also took care for the ecological, recyclable packaging. The first protection is, of course, cardboard, which – as you probably know – is recyclable. The edible cups themselves are in turn protected with an unvarnished cellulose film. Such foil is biodegradable and, moreover, compostable. The compostability certificate ensures that it is completely safe even in home composters.

We don’t have to give up our rituals

Such form of packaging is very environmentally friendly, but at the same time makes edible cups fragile – they cannot be stored for long. They should be treated as biscuits (food) rather than disposable cups.

edible cups

Still, Twiice’s edible cups are strong enough to allow you to calmly drink hot coffee. Manufacturers say that such a cup will not leak even after 24 hours of holding the liquid – although after that time it may get a little softer. Their structure certainly does not prevent you from celebrating the coffee ritual. Vanilla biscuit certainly diversifies it.

Edible cups in the sky

The company officially began producing edible cups just a few months ago, and the biscuit alternative to disposables is already making a sensation. Almost 20 cafes in New Zealand have already switched to such cups (production takes place in NZ).

However, this is not all. Edible cups have also been successfully tested by Air New Zealand. The company decided to minimize waste produced on board of its aircraft. According to Air New Zealand’s customer service specialist, more than 8 million disposable coffee cups are used annually [2]. So Twiice can really change a lot in this matter.

edible cups in airplanes

Edible cups made of biscuits are so popular that the originators are already working on extending the offer. In the near future, the cups will also be available in a gluten-free and vegan version. For now, the company is focused only on the New Zealand market, but if demand is going to grow, we can expect international success. We keep our fingers crossed and hope that the company will make every effort to ensure that the production itself takes place locally, ethically and as ecologically as possible.

Sources:

[1] Gabbatiss J., 2018: Disposable coffee cups: How big a problem are they for the environment? Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/disposable-coffee-cups-how-big-problem-environment-landfill-recycling-incinerate-export-rubbish-a8142381.html [access 21.12.2019].
[2] O Brien N., 2019: Air New Zealand trials edible coffee cups. Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/air-new-zealand-edible-coffee-cups?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article&fbclid=IwAR0RTM_A3dSUBXKKfy7xn0dL1FObRE2U0bdnFyCdD-u9RozTkROY_0h4OKo [access 21.12.2019].

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