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Food delivery giant Foodpanda’s parent company Delivery Hero has set up a global Sustainable Packaging Program. Through this initiative, local restaurants will be provided with eco packaging alternatives at a competitive cost to help them eliminate the use of plastic packaging and effectively tackle the plastic crisis.
Solutions to the plastic crisis
According to recent data, eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans each year. Plus, nearly 33% of plastic waste is improperly discarded either in landfills or by burning them leading to toxic chemicals being released into the environment.
Foodpanda’s Berlin-based parent organization, Delivery Hero, aims to tackle this through its new program that offers sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging.
The program will pilot across eight countries namely Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Qatar, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Usually, in food packaging, man-made compounds called perﬂuoroalkoxy-alkanes (PFAS) or commonly known as forever chemicals are used to make the packaging resistant against grease and liquid. However, these are known to not only be toxic to humans but are extremely harmful to the environment since they can’t be broken down.
Through this program, local restaurants in the pilot countries will be provided with 100% plant-based and PFAS free sustainable packaging alternatives.
“Becoming more sustainable is an important part of Delivery Hero’s ambition to build a company that future generations can be proud of, said CEO and co-founder of Delivery Hero, Niklas Östberg in a statement. “By taking responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint through sustainable packaging, Delivery Hero aspires to pave the way for the industry and deliver a more climate friendly service for customers and communities around the world.”
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10M units by 2022
Delivery Hero has joined forces with U.S.-based EcoProducts and Hamburg-based cleantech firm BIO-LUTIONS to provide packaging solutions from burger boxes, to compartment containers to salad bowls and soup and sauce containers. In 2019, it made investments in BIO-LUTIONS and even supported them in developing these alternatives.
The company will employ its local brands like Foodpanda, Mjam, PedidosYa, and Talabat to deliver these solutions to restaurants, with a 10 million unit target to be achieved by the end of 2022 as well as expansion of the program to more regions.
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By taking responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint through sustainable packaging, Delivery Hero aspires to pave the way for the industry and deliver a more climate friendly service for customers and communities around the worldNiklas Östberg, CEO and co-Founder of Delivery Hero
Expanding its plastic reduction efforts in Asia
Through Foodpanda’s platform, restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong can purchase sustainable packaging alternatives at a reasonable price, compared to some cheap plastic counterparts.
In the past, Foodpanda was responsible for the first platform to unveil the cutlery opt-out toggle on the app, with the company claiming it saved more than 160 million pieces of single-use plastic cutlery by the end of 2020.
Vice president, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Evelyn Tay, said: “At Foodpanda, doing our part and protecting our precious earth is an important priority. We are looking into multiple ways to find eco-safe ways to provide our customers with the food, groceries, and products they need with lower environmental impact. This new sustainable packaging is a significant step in reducing plastic waste, together with our efforts to reduce carbon emissions on a regional and global level. With our partners, we can make a difference and drive real environmental change within the food and delivery industry.”
Pledge to become carbon neutral
Delivery Hero has committed to making its operations carbon neutral across the globe by the end of this year with its European and Latin American operations already meeting the goal.
Foodpanda is working on reducing plastic consumption with its Singapore branch becoming the first country to pilot a reusable packaging program. In Taiwan, it partnered with the local Environmental Protection Administration, Tainan City Government, and GoodToGo to launch a similar program, and in Hong Kong, it joined recycling service provider Baguio iRecycle to encourage recycling among consumers.
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Lead image courtesy of Delivery Hero.