Deliveroo is to make plastic cutlery an opt-in for all UK customers, which will help dramatically reduce wasted plastic cutlery

Deliveroo set to dramatically reduce plastic use in UK

  • Food company to make plastic cutlery an opt-in for all UK customers, which will help dramatically reduce wasted plastic cutlery
  • Deliveroo introduces new line of eco-packaging, with 50 new products to help restaurants offer sustainable packaging
  • Deliveroo will give away a quarter of a million environmentally-friendly straws, which will also be sold on its packaging store
  • Leading restaurant partners commit to working with Deliveroo to improve the sustainability of their packaging, while restaurants who use Deliveroo's Editions delivery-only kitchens also pledge to overhaul their packaging to use eco-friendly options where possible
  • Deliveroo makes long-term commitment to be a leader in sustainable food delivery and plans to roll out similar measures in all its 12 markets globally

Deliveroo has today announced that it will take comprehensive action to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used when delivering takeaway meals, including immediate steps to cut plastic cutlery use. Deliveroo, the leading food delivery company, is working with restaurant partners to help them increase the use of sustainable packaging and has pledged to invest in long term steps to end the use of plastic in takeaway packaging.

The update in Deliveroo's app makes the company the first food delivery platform in the UK to stop sending cutlery as a default. This is part of a long-term commitment to be the leaders in packaging innovation. Deliveroo plans to work with manufacturers to invest in developing first-of-its kind sustainable packaging which is ideal for food delivery, maintaining quality while advancing sustainability and environmental goals.

Measures which Deliveroo are adopting:

  • Introducing a new 'opt in for cutlery' feature in the app and online which asks customers whether they want to receive cutlery with their order. When Deliveroo trialled this in the UAE 100% of restaurants involved saw a reduction of cutlery being used, with 85% seeing a reduction of over 50%. The Diner restaurant trialled a cutlery opt in with Deliveroo and saw a 90% reduction in plastic cutlery used. Deliveroo believes the plastic reduction in the UK will be significant.
  • An overhaul of Deliveroo's own in-house packaging store, with a new eco-range that adds nearly 50 new products to help restaurants choose more environmentally friendly packaging. Items are recyclable or biodegradable and are cost neutral.
  • New support for restaurants to switch to environmentally-friendly straws. Deliveroo will provide almost 250,000 free biodegradable straws to its restaurant partners, on a first come first serve basis. The company's own in-house packaging store will host only environmentally friendly, biodegradable straws and cutlery. Of the nine different types of straw being offered by Deliveroo, seven are paper and two are biodegradable plastic.
  • Deliveroo is working with partners to encourage them to enhance the sustainability of their packaging offer. Already a range of Deliveroo partners have committed to this, including MEATliquor, The Diner, independent restaurants and Deliveroo Editions partners, including Motherclucker, Cocotte and Lievita.
  • Deliveroo will work with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to source, fund and accelerate the right kind of innovation in the hospitality sector. We'll cut plastic by working together, asking the right questions, and accelerating sector innovation to address some of these challenges.

Commenting, Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu said:

"Deliveroo wants to transform the way people eat, ensuring everybody can have great food when and where they want it, and we want them to enjoy meals that are sustainably delivered and packaged.

"As a company we are determined to help contribute to efforts to reduce the amount of plastic we all use in society and deliver real, tangible changes that will help our environment.

"We know this is only the start. We will be working with our restaurant partners and customers to address this long-term challenge that matters to all of us here at Deliveroo."

Deliveroo recognises that reducing the plastic use and increasing sustainability requires both immediate actions and long term solutions. Today's announcement is the first steps in a longer-term vision to ensure that great food can be enjoyed in a sustainable manner. In some cases - for example when transporting hot liquids - there currently aren't practical non-plastic alternatives. Deliveroo is therefore pledging to be industry leaders by developing the first of its kind environmentally conscious packaging range which is fit for delivery purposes.

A number of Deliveroo's restaurant partners have already made the change or are working with Deliveroo to cut plastic use.

Matthew Ford, Operations Manager, The Diner comments: "We are very excited and proud to be working on this great initiative with Deliveroo. Our customers have told us this is important to them and have appreciated the changes we have already made to move away from plastics. It's all about making positive change, there's still lots to do, but this is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic society uses."

A spokesperson from MEATliquor, comments: "Working with Deliveroo to help reduce the amount of plastic used when delivering our food is important to us. It's important that the food travels well and arrives the way we'd like it to, but it's more important that what it is travelling in is sustainable. We're working closely with Deliveroo to ensure the delivery process from their end and ours is as environmentally friendly as possible."

A spokesperson from Heavenly Desserts comments: "Deliveroo has enabled us to bring delicious food direct to customers doors. We're delighted that these new changes will mean we can do this in a way that is more sustainable and eco-friendly than ever before."

A spokesperson from Farmstand comments: "At Farmstand, one of our core values is to be environmentally responsible so we look forward to working closely with Deliveroo on these positive changes to reduce plastic waste."

Download images of the new Deliveroo eco packaging range here.

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