Disposable, single-serving bowls of noodles don't fit many (okay, any) TreeHugger values of minimizing packaging waste or resource efficiency. The ubiquitous "Cup Noodles," dietary staple of many a college student and lunch on the go, have taken a green baby step by offering reusable, refillable cups for their noodle soups.
Customers in Japan can buy the "Cup Noodle Refill Starter Pack," which includes a refill for Cup Noodle, a refill for Seafood Noodle, and an original cup exclusively for refill dubbed "My Noodle Cup." The product is the first of an environment friendly product series to be released by the company under the slogan "Enjoy eating in an eco-friendly style."
Though the gimmicky marketing borders on greenwashing -- the refillable cups are definitely "greener" rather than out and out "green" -- this is certainly a step in the right direction for a pretty wasteful product. Plus, the refills are kinda fun -- you can design and print your own cup liner (pictured below the fold) -- and allowing for this increased creativity might help push the green aspect to people who just want to eat instant noodles, and don't care about throwing away a polystyrene cup and plastic wrapping at every meal. Either way, it's greener than before, and that's something that always deserves attention. Read up on the history of the instant noodle and learn more about the refill cup at ::Japan for Sustainability via ::NotCot and ::Cup Noodle's Refill minisite (in Japanese)
Update: Thanks to eagle-eyed TreeHugger Lloyd, there are now more pics of the (rather excessively-packaged) refillable cup and the refills themselves, after the jump.
The whole shebang.
"Design your own" interface
"Design your own" cup; someone's gone a little overboard