Online food delivery and q-commerce platform talabat has announced the launch of its Sustainable Packaging Programme to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions across the region, starting with pilot operations in UAE and Qatar. The launch is part of Delivery Hero’s (talabat’s parent company) global initiative to create a more sustainable delivery ecosystem, and is initially rolled out to eight markets to pilot the concept including UAE, Qatar, Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, and Singapore.
The company’s new packaging, which will be available for select restaurant partners and vendors to adopt, is said to be 100 percent plant-based and contains no perfluoroalkoxy-alkanes (PFA). The packaging has also been rigorously tested to meet food safety, quality assurance, sustainability, and ethical supply standards, said the company.
Research conducted by Delivery Hero revealed that consumers want a more sustainable delivery ecosystem. 92 percent of customers in the UAE would consider ordering from restaurants that offer sustainable packaging, while two thirds of customers in both UAE would order more from a restaurant that offers sustainable packaging, as per the statement.
“Globally, I think everyone can agree that a plastic free world is imperative,” said Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of talabat. “Regionally, our ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable delivery ecosystem by constantly introducing industry-leading standards and innovations, and that every product purchased through our talabat platform be delivered in sustainable packaging.”
However, he said, this is not a short-term, or medium-term fix. “Through introducing our Sustainable Packaging Programme to the region as a pilot, we are aiming to influence the reduction of food packaging wastage.” He added that as part of Delivery Hero, who are introducing this same initiative initially in seven other markets globally, they are able to produce this packaging at scale “with the aim of deploying 10 million units globally by the end of 2022, which makes it a cost-effective solution to normal packaging for our restaurant partners and vendors.”
According to the statement, talabat has previously taken steps to reduce use of plastic by introducing a “no-cutlery” default option at check-out for all orders made through the app, resulting in 62.6 percent increase in no-cutlery orders in just four months. Additionally, talabat mart, the platform’s own delivery-only 24/7 store, with no shopfront switched from paper bags to biodegradable and reusable bags.
“Sustainability has always been a key part of our agenda and as we continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly important for us to take responsibility and reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint as we envision a sustainability-driven future not just the coming few years, but for generations to come,” said Jeremy Doutte, Vice President UAE at talabat.