Linstol’s Super Cup, which is lined with a proprietary substance that makes it easier to extract the pulp during recycling, is expected to take to the skies this summer.
Airline passengers can now feel a little less guilty drinking coffee from a single-use cup thanks to a new sustainable option from amenity supplier Linstol. The double-walled Super Cup is lined with a calcium carbonate substrate called EarthCoating and is made with 51 per cent less plastic than its more common polyethylene-lined counterpart. Once sent to the proper processing facility, the paper part of the cup is 100 percent recyclable.
The company expects the Super Cup to make it onto aircraft this summer, said Bill Carrejo, Linstol’s director of Sales and Sustainability, adding that Linstol is working with three major US carriers to bring the product to the skies.
While cups lined with polyethylene (PE) can be recycled, they often end up in landfill because the effort required to separate the lining from the paper isn’t cost-effective. With the Super Cup, the proprietary lining sinks to the bottom of the tank during the recycling process, making it easy for Linstol’s partner recycler to extract only the pulp.
“The recycler buys the cup from the airline, processes it and sells it to a company in Malaysia that produces children’s coloring books.” – Bill Carrejo, Linstol
“With the calcium lining, the cup’s got real value. The recycler buys the cup from the airline, processes it and sells the pulp to another party who then can repurpose it into something like coloring books, thus giving it a second life,” Carrejo said. Because the company is working with a specific closed-loop recycling partner, it can also track the lifecycle of the Super Cups and report back to airlines.
Carrejo is quick to add that the cups can only be recycled where facilities are available and for flights operating domestically due to quarantine regulations around passenger waste from international journeys. Once the lining is extracted from the cup, it does get sent to the dump along with other trash but will degrade over time. “In southwest Florida where we’re based and where it’s hot and humid all year, it could take a couple of years,” Carrejo explained.
The Super Cup also boasts a gentler eco footprint thanks to its space-saving design. “We basically made a double-walled paper cup that stacks in a box just like a single-walled cup does. This creates a better fit. We can get 38-40 per cent more cups per carton, which cuts back on the number of shipments airlines have to receive,” Carrejo said.
Cups are only the beginning, he added, disclosing that Linstol is developing a full line of sustainable in-flight paper products using EarthCoating.