Uber Eats has entered a three-year, $13 million partnership with Planet Ark to assist restaurants in moving towards sustainable packaging.
The funding will be used to provide investments and subsidies to make more sustainable packaging options more affordable, programs to educate people on how to best dispose of packaging in an effort to contribute to the circular economy, and incentives for businesses moving towards more sustainable forms of packaging.
Bec Nyst, General Manager for Uber Eats ANZ, said the company will use its scale and relationships with suppliers to improve the unit economics on more sustainable packaging.
“As we have increased our investment in this area and as we progress our partnership with Planet Ark, we’ll look to identify additional system changes to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable packaging options across Australia.
“We’ve already seen the incredible impact our technology can have on the restaurant ecosystem. Since making cutlery opt-in rather than being included by default, we estimate eaters have helped reduce the equivalent weight of four jumbo jets worth of plastic forks, spoons, and the like ending up in Australian landfill.”
Rebecca Gilling, CEO of Planet Ark, said there is an increasing expectation from consumers, governments and the community to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.
“With the recent announcement that the federal government will become the new regulator of packaging standards, mandating how packaging is designed, setting minimum recycled content requirements, and prohibiting harmful chemicals being used, all ladder up to encouraging developments.”
“But while this is a positive outcome, there is still much to do, and there is a clear need to provide support to small businesses – including restaurants – on how to reduce packaging waste best. We’re delighted to be able to announce a multi-year effort with Uber Eats to help them assist their restaurant partners – and to lift the standard for the sector more broadly.”
Nyst explained that Uber Eats believes the most significant impact the company can have in the immediate term is to educate and support small to medium-sized businesses working in the restaurant and catering industry.
“This is a multi-year journey, and by starting with Planet Ark’s educational resources, we’ll endeavour to help restaurants make the shift to more sustainable packaging.”