The insulating InCycle cup (pictured), manufactured by Washington-based technology company MicroGreen, is fully recyclable and made from up to 50 percent recycled materials. The new hot beverage cups will replace the non-recyclable Styrofoam cups the airline currently uses.
The MicroGreen technology makes 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, United says.
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 airline says.
In other efforts to shrink its environmental footprint, in November, United launched a cargo emissions and offset calculator that computes per capita carbon emissions for customers shipping via United Cargo.