Cup Noodles Finally Ditches The Styrofoam

Nissin is switching to paper cups, which means more convenience for Cup Noodles fans.

Cup Noodles fans, get ready for some big changes coming to your instant ramen starting early 2024. Nissin Foods, owner of the Cup Noodles brand, has announced that it's finally saying goodbye to its polystyrene cup and replacing it with a paper one.

This is clearly important from a sustainability standpoint, as the cup will now be made from 40% recycled fiber and will no longer require plastic wrap. The outer sleeve will also be made of 100% recycled paper. This move away from polystyrene means that polystyrene will no longer be involved in any of Nissin Foods' product lineup. But there's one side effect of this change that will make your Cup Noodles much easier to prepare.

Cup Noodles are finally microwaveable

The new paper packaging means that instead of having to pour boiling water into the noodles, you'll be able to stick the whole cup into the microwave with the water already in it. Nissin adds that the whole cooking process will only take two minutes and 15 seconds in the new cup. Currently, you have to heat the water separately, pour it into the Styrofoam cup, and let it sit for three minutes to finish cooking, so yes, the new design does shave off a pretty good percentage of prep time.

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There are big reasons why you shouldn't be microwaving ramen in its Styrofoam container. Heated polystyrene can leach the chemical styrene into your food. The CDC says that breathing this chemical can lead to concentration problems, balance issues, fatigue, slow reaction time, and a generally drunken feelig. Plus, if you microwave the polystyrene cup for too long, it can actually melt or crack, which risks a huge and potentially scalding-hot kitchen mess.

A lot of modern cup noodles come in paper-based packaging already, and can be prepared right in the microwave, so Nissin is mostly just catching up with the times. Even though we've gotten to know the noodles specifically because of that distinctive polystyrene cup, I have a feeling we won't miss it in the long run.

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