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Cup Noodles launches recycled paper cups for instant ramen, eliminates plastic wrapping

#Cup Noodles launches recycled paper cups for instant ramen, eliminates plastic wrapping

07 Nov 2023 — Nissin Foods’ Cup Noodles is introducing a 40% recycled fiber cup eliminating the necessity for a plastic wrap and features a sleeve made with 100% recycled paper. The new packaging is polystyrene-free and will be rolled out across all flavors of Cup Noodles. 

The updated packaging for the on-the-go cup is microwavable, making the brand more convenient for consumers than previous applications. Cup Noodles’ new paper cup packaging will be introduced to store shelves beginning in early 2024. 

The change is said to be “historic” for the brand since its US introduction in 1973. “Since its invention more than 50 years ago, Cup Noodles has become a cultural mainstay and a staple in households around the world,” says Michael Price, president and CEO of Nissin Foods USA. 

“While Cup Noodles will continue to have that same satisfying taste and iconic look, we continue to find ways to evolve the brand to support the current needs of our consumers and the environment. This updated packaging and the new paper cup marks an important milestone for Cup Noodles and a key step in our environmental commitment.”

Person eating instant noodles out of paper cup. The new Cup Noodles cup contains 40% recycled fiber and comes without a plastic wrap.Paper for food updates
For the first time ever, Cup Noodles will be microwavable, no longer requiring boiling water which reduces cooking time. This allows consumers a more convenient way to enjoy and cook their instant ramen. Heated in two minutes and 15 seconds, the new packaging delivers a reliable, hassle-free meal option, according to the company.

Nissin Foods’ transition to a paper cup signifies a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, aligning with the company’s Earth Food Challenge 2030. Through the initiative, Nissin Foods aims to minimize CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Unilever brand Pot Noodle recently trialed paper pots for its instant noodle soups with UK supermarket Tesco. The new pots can reportedly be recycled at home with other paper waste and include on-pack recycling labels to guide shoppers on correct disposal.

We recently explored how major packaging suppliers are pioneering new barrier coatings to enhance the applicability and circularity of paper-based packaging.

Edited by Natalie Schwertheim

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