Moving away from single-use cups in our airport lounges

Air New Zealand is removing single-use cups from its New Zealand lounges*. The move will eliminate nearly one million single-use cups from our waste stream each year. Customers will still be able to enjoy a self or barista made hot drink in our lounges using one of our ceramic cups or their own reusable cup.

Single-Use Cups – what's the problem?

Kiwis use over 295 million single-use cups every year.   Most of these cups are lined with a plastic coating which means they are unrecyclable and need to be landfilled.

The cups Air New Zealand use in our lounges and aircraft for hot drinks are commercially compostable.  However, there is limited composting infrastructure in New Zealand that can take them, so most are ending up in landfill.

Waste fills our landfills, pollutes our environment, and uses up our natural resources (6.5 million trees are cut down a year to meet the global demand for single-use cups).

Waste also contributes to our carbon footprint. In New Zealand, on average, approximately 94 percent of waste emissions from landfill are methane – largely generated by the decomposition of organic waste (such as food, garden, wood and paper waste) – including the airline's single-use cups.  Biogenic methane has a greater warming effect than carbon dioxide while in the atmosphere.

Every step we take, including the small ones, will reduce the airline's environmental impact. 

*Excludes Christchurch Regional Express


Why are you focusing on single-use cups? Haven't you got bigger environmental problems to solve?

What about the plastic water cups and plastic wrap on snacks on both domestic and international flights?

What about the single-use plastic spreads available in lounges?

Is this just about saving money?

Will you still offer hot drinks on board?

What about international lounges?

Will this make a difference?

Why don't you use better quality single-use cups?

Can I take my hot drink onboard?

Will Air New Zealand cabin crew refill my reusable cup inflight if it's previously been used for a drink from the lounge?

Why are you not rolling this out at Christchurch Regional Express?

Is taking a reusable cup on the flight better than the existing single-use cups available in the lounges?