UK – British online food service company Deliveroo has announced a US$2.8 million (£2.5 million) investment to subsidize the cost of more environmentally sustainable packaging and to encourage restaurant partners to move away from more polluting options.

Deliveroo says that the investment could save around 403 tonnes of plastic being used annually – the equivalent of around 25 trucks worth of packaging waste.

The subsidy will initially be made available to 45,000 small-medium sized Deliveroo restaurant partners across the UK and will provide Deliveroo partners with a 50% subsidy on the cost of “environmentally friendly” packaging.

“Sustainable food packaging is really important to Deliveroo and this multi-million-pound investment will play a crucial role in helping our partners make greener choices,” says Paul Bedford, Director of Policy & Sustainability at Deliveroo.

“By subsidizing greener packaging, we’re underlining our commitment to reimagining packaging, reducing waste, and lowering our carbon footprint.”

Deliveroo defines “sustainable packaging” as any home-compostable item made from recyclable paper, cardboard or recycled plastic.

For products where an easily recyclable or compostable alternative does not yet exist, Deliveroo has vowed to explore alternative options to reduce environmental harm.

In addition to the new investment, Deliveroo’s packaging supplier will offset 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of the annual emissions for over 300 standard cars, it says.

Following the success of similar Deliveroo initiatives in Hong Kong, the latest scheme will also be launched in France, Italy and Belgium in the coming weeks to help small-medium Deliveroo restaurant partners.

Eligible restaurants will be emailed a unique voucher code to be used on the Deliveroo packaging store website, with unused codes redistributed to new Restaurant Partners.

The subsidy will initially be made available to small-medium-sized enterprises with the highest sales and packaging footprint over the past 12 months.

“When we first started our sustainability journey, our requirements were unique; environmentally friendly packaging which transports a taco to a customer’s door securely,” said Ismael Munoz, Deliveroo’s operations lead.

“The Deliveroo team took on the challenge with open arms and delivered the right packaging for us, one that now most Mexican takeaway places use.”

For all the latest packaging and printing industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.