No more Styrofoam coffee cups aboard United Airlines flights. The airline is replacing them with new, eco-friendly cups that are actually manufactured from recycled water bottles.
The insulating InCycle cup is manufactured in the USA by Washington-based technology company MicroGREEN. Besides being made from up to 50% recycled materials, the cup itself is fully recyclable. Styrofoam, as we all know, is not recyclable, and lives virtually forever in landfills.
MicroGREEN manufactures four and a half InCycle cups 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.
This is just one of many eco-friendly efforts by airlines including United to reduce waste and to increase recycling within its system.
Over the past six years, United has recycled more than 23 million pounds of aluminum cans, paper and plastic from waste generated on board aircraft and in its ground facilities. The new cup will be added to United’s recycling stream, reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills.
United calls it their eco-skies program. Here are some other eco-efforts United wants us to know about –
- Last year, UAL was recognized as the Eco-Aviation Gold Airline of the Year by Air Transport World.
- Also in 2013, UAL reduced CO2 emissions by more than 811,643 metric tons and reduced fuel consumption by 95 million gallons through fuel efficiency initiatives.
- UAL has ordered more than 250 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft that are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than those they’ll replace.
- United is a leader in the advancement and use of alternative fuels, making history in commercial aviation with its partnership with AltAir Fuels to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive renewable jet fuel to its Los Angeles hub later this year.
Perhaps United should change its tagline from Fly the Friendly Skies to Fly the Friendly Green Skies.