Food delivery services Deliveroo and foodpanda team up with WWF to tackle Hong Kong’s unsustainable packaging problem and reduce plastic waste.
Sustainability within the F&B sector is ratcheting up a notch. Recently we’ve seen a Singapore-based F&B sustainability council forming. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants becoming increasingly common. And apps like abillionveg gaining popularity. Now, food delivery giants Deliveroo and foodpanda are on a mission to reduce unsustainable packaging and influence an entire industry.
In collaboration with WWF Hong Kong, Deliveroo and foodpanda have signed a commitment to become a part of WWF’s Plastic ACTion Initiative (PACT). Its goal? To reduce single-use plastic, industry-wide. By 2025, it aims to remove all unsustainable packaging and establish a more circular economy for Hong Kong’s plastic waste. So what exactly does signing up to this PACT entail? Here are the four key commitments:
– Implement a default opt-out option for single-use plastic cutlery
– Support consumer behaviour changes by adopting eco-friendly alternatives to plastic
– Set up a programme that encourages merchants and restaurants to continuously improve their packaging materials
– Communicate successes in packaging sustainability improvements to stakeholders
But it’s no small task; dining paraphernalia currently creates approximately 10% of Hong Kong’s plastic waste. And we all know where that ends up (*hint* landfills or the ocean). And according to the Coastal Watch Report, cutlery, containers, and straws are among the top 10 most prominent contributors to marine litter in Hong Kong.
A catalyst for change
Between them, the two companies account for 90% of the food delivery industry in the region. Which makes their cooperation a significant step in reducing plastic waste and influencing the entire industry. Brian Lo, GM of Deliveroo Hong Kong, says “It is fundamental for not only us but the entire F&B industry to rethink our approach when it comes to packaging and products”. While Arun Makhija, CEO of foodpanda Hong Kong, states “With the continued hyper-growth of food delivery in Hong Kong, we are in a unique position to heavily influence the packaging practices of the F&B industry.”
This move is the latest in a series of initiatives from both companies. In 2019, together they were able to reduce plastic-waste by 60 tonnes. And, with the introduction of further PACT measures, they plan to eliminate an additional 130 tonnes of plastic over the next 12 months. In addition, WWF Hong Kong is also calling on the government to regulate single-use plastics by lobbying for single-use tableware and an outright polystyrene ban by 2022.
“PACT is only a starting point to catalyse actions. We need to take immediate action on the government, business and consumer sectors to escape from excessive plastic consumption,” said Dr Laurence McCook, Head of Oceans Conservation of WWF Hong Kong. We couldn’t agree more.
Want to do more? Take action with these #LittleGreenSteps
– Reduce the amount of takeout you consume. But if you do order in, support this movement by using Deliveroo or foodpanda.
– Carry a reusable cutlery set and lunchbox with you (and encourage your friends and family to do the same).
– Say no to single-use items (like straws and cutlery) in restaurants.