Air New Zealand to Remove Single Use Cups from Lounges

Image Credit: Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has begun the process of removing single-use cups from its lounges. The move is part of the airline’s commitment to sustainability, including supporting a more circular approach to waste by creating less of it in the first place.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin says the airline is very aware that it has a greater problem to solve in moving away from fossil fuel.

“This remains our greatest challenge and priority, and we have a significant programme of work underway. But as the airline navigates the multiple challenges to find a more sustainable fuel replacement or a lower emissions aircraft, we must double down on the sustainability initiatives we can action now”, says Hannifin. 

“Nearly one million single-use cups are used for hot drinks across lounges each year and another nine million in our aircraft. These cups are commercially compostable, but there is limited composting infrastructure in New Zealand that can take them, so most are ending up in landfill.

“At Air New Zealand we have set some very ambitious sustainability goals, including net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These will require significant changes to our fleet and operations to transition away from fossil fuel as much as we can.”

“But we can’t just wait for these big initiatives. Waste to landfill also contributes to our carbon footprint. Managing waste better is within our control and removing single-use cups in our lounges is a step in the right direction. Every step we take, including the small ones, will reduce the airline’s environmental impact. 

“We know that having a hot drink from our lounges, especially before an early flight, is something many of our customers enjoy. Rest assured our customers will still be able to get their coffee fix with us using one of our ceramic cups or their own reusable cup.”

The process will start in Invercargill at the beginning of November with the roll out to New Zealand lounges* expected to be completed by the end of January.

Air New Zealand appreciates the support of our customers to remove nearly one million single-use cups from our waste stream.

More information for customers can be found here.

*Excludes Christchurch Regional Express

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