Just Eat steps up trial of seaweed sachets

Just Eat has partnered with the Hellmann’s brand to extend its trial of Notpla’s biodegradable seaweed sauce sachets.

More than 60 Just Eat restaurant partners in London have replaced single-use plastic sachets with a range of Hellmann’s ketchup, BBQ, tartare and garlic sauces served in the seaweed sachets, which are said to fully decompose in around six weeks in home compost or a normal waste bin.

It follows an initial partnership between Just Eat and Notpla to test the sachets with 10 restaurant partners last year which prevented more than 46,000 plastic ketchup sachets from entering landfill, according to Just Eat.

The trial is being supported by the Innovate UK fund with plans in place to expand it to more UK cities.

The Notpla sachets are made from a seaweed-based material and are flavourless and colourless meaning the taste of the sauces is not affected.

Interviewed for Footprint’s ‘The future of foodservice packaging’ report earlier this year Just Eat UK’s business partnerships director Robin Clark reported that 91% of customers surveyed during the initial pilot found the sachets easier to use and 92% wanted to see more of this kind of packaging in the future.

He added that switching to the Notpla sachets would require a “significant change in procurement” because the shelf-life is a lot shorter than plastic sachets.

“Takeaway sauce sachets are one of the hardest single use plastics to deal with,” said Pierre Paslier, co-CEO of Notpla. “They’re easy to litter and have low residual value which limits the recycling potential. We’re very excited to work hand in hand with leaders in the takeaway and sauce sectors. Sustainability is a top priority for their consumers and is key for these sectors to survive in the long run.”

Last year, Just Eat announced a package of measures to reduce excess plastics used in the UK takeaway sector. These included a commitment to stop selling single-use plastics in its partner shop in March 2018, and a trial of a pre-ticked box on its app and website to encourage customers to opt out of receiving single-use plastic items such as cutlery that they don’t need.

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