Just Eat will ask customers to opt-out of receiving plastic cutlery, straws and sauce sachets as part of a package of measures to reduce excess plastic included in UK takeaway food deliveries.
The online marketplace, through which almost 30,000 independent takeaway chains offer home delivery, said it would trial adding a pre-ticked box on its app and website to nudge customers to opt out of receiving plastic that they do not need.
It also intends to stop selling all single-use plastic items through its partner shop, which sold over one million plastic packaging products to UK restaurants in 2017.
And Just Eat said it would establish an innovation platform to invest in the research and development of innovative and practical alternatives for single use plastics. The first initiative will be a partnership with Skipping Rocks Lab, the start-up behind edible packaging brand Ooho, to trial the introduction of seaweed-based sauce sachets to restaurant partners which are not only edible but also decompose within six weeks.
“As the market leader in online food delivery, we are using our influence to drive more environmentally-friendly behaviour among our restaurant partners and customers,” said Graham Corfield, UK managing director of Just Eat.
Just Eat will also work with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) to create and distribute a series of resources for restaurants to help them and their customers reduce plastic usage over time.
“There is such strong momentum now behind the movement to act on single-use plastic. This has created a huge opportunity for the restaurant sector to make a massive impact by changing the behaviour of customers and those that work in the industry,” said Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the SRA.