Southwest Airlines Co. of Dallas is switching its in-flight drinking cups from polyethylene to polypropylene in a move it said will save it $1 million per year.
The discount airliner, known for its money-saving maneuvers that include no formal seat assignments, is rotating through its final supply of PE cups, a spokeswoman confirmed in a Sept. 21 telephone interview.
Southwest switched cups for several reasons, including the rising cost of raw materials and the fact that flight attendants like the way the new cups handle. The new cups have a slightly dimpled surface, which makes them less likely to slip from their busy fingers, the Southwest spokeswoman said.
Southwest purchased 98.4 million cups in 2005, a number it expects to grow significantly this year. The Southwest cup has the Southwest Airlines logo on one side, and the logo of its beverage partner, Coca-Cola, on the other.
The company relied on PE cups supplied by Solo Cup Co. of Highland Park, Ill., but now will source the PP replacements from Wessco International, a Los Angeles-based firm that sources products from countries around the world, including China, Thailand and France, for the travel and tourism industry, according to its Web site.