KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has become the first global carrier to switch from using conventional oil-based polystyrene coffee and tea cups to 'Bio-Cups' made with Ingeo™ coating. Initially introduced at the beginning of November 2008, these cups are now being used as the responsible alternative across the whole KLM fleet. Ingeo™ natural plastic from NatureWorks is entirely from annually renewable plant resources. Compared to a traditional plastic such as PET, Ingeo is said to consume 56% less non-renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 77%.
The switch to Bio-Cup is the result of a partnership between KLM, Moonen Packaging, and NatureWorks LLC. The decision to use Ingeo biopolymer was made for both practical and environmental benefits. The main structure of the cup has a natural paper base. The Ingeo nature plastic coating provides excellent moisture barrier properties and grease resistance. The Bio-Cups are also lighter yet rigid, so they pack and store better in flight than traditional foam cups, says the company.