Uber Eats and Planet Ark partner for sustainable packaging in Australian restaurants

Uber Eats and Planet Ark partner for sustainable packaging in Australian restaurants

Sustainability

Uber Eats has forged a multi-year collaboration with Planet Ark, Australia's leading environmental organisation, to support local restaurants in adopting more sustainable packaging. The initiative aims to guide Uber Eats restaurant partners toward reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging options by 2030.

The partnership's first achievement is the development of a sustainability framework in consultation with the University of Technology Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Futures. This peer-reviewed framework establishes criteria to determine whether a restaurant's packaging aligns with sustainability standards, emphasising reusability, recyclability, or compostability.

To drive the adoption of sustainable packaging, Uber Eats is committing up to $13 million over the next three years. This funding will be utilised for programmes and subsidies designed to encourage restaurants to embrace eco-friendly packaging solutions. The announcement follows a successful pilot initiative in the last quarter of 2023, during which Uber Eats provided $1 million in funding to small to medium-sized businesses for purchasing sustainable packaging through its partner, Detpak.

Uber Eats announce $13m fund and multi-year partnership with Planet Ark designed to help restaurants adopt more sustainable packaging options on the platform © Uber

In collaboration with industry experts, including Planet Ark, and engaging with government and business leaders, Uber Eats is dedicated to sharing knowledge and addressing challenges in the packaging lifecycle. The objective is to empower restaurants to concentrate on their core strengths—delivering exceptional hospitality and innovative cuisine.

General Manager, Uber Eats ANZ Bec Nyst said: We are thrilled to partner with Planet Ark to bring information to businesses that are looking to make the shift to more sustainable packaging. 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.

Key aspects of the partnership include providing clarity to restaurants on sustainable packaging, educating the public on proper packaging disposal to contribute to the circular economy, making sustainable packaging more affordable through investments and subsidies, and offering incentives for businesses transitioning to eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Planet Ark’s CEO Rebecca Gilling said: There is 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.

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