Ways to reduce Food Delivery Waste

The food delivery industry has witnessed massive growth in a few years. Ordering a meal is a convenient option although its impact is not convenient. Food delivery apps have made food just a click away and are preferred as it saves the hassle of the cooking sessions. But this is significantly creating more plastic waste. Although food delivery is getting popular it increases the risk of waste, each order comes with at least 3–4 plastic containers. This plastic is recyclable, if not disposed of properly it will eventually end up in landfills. Food delivery aggregators process around 35–40 million orders every month, which creates up to 22,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste every month.

Role of Restaurants in reducing food delivery waste

  • Many restaurants have shifted their packaging from plastic to aluminum, but this is not making a huge difference.
  • Few have tried to pack curry over rice to reduce packaging but not everyone will accept such orders.
  • Food delivery app Swiggy has started a new marketplace platform ‘Swiggy packaging assist’ which will provide the restaurants a varied range of eco-friendly packaging options and they can connect to the vendors of these materials through this marketplace.
  • Food delivery platforms taking full responsibility for plastic waste will lessen the burden on plastic waste management on Municipalities and will also boost the recycling supply chain.

Role of Food delivery apps in reducing plastic waste

  • Food delivery apps like zomato and swiggy have taken small steps for reducing the waste caused by food packaging.
  • Zomato has introduced options like ‘no cutlery’ which gives the customer an opportunity to opt-out of plastic packaging and help in reducing plastic waste.
  • As mentioned above swiggy has started a marketplace that will give options to restaurants to choose their packaging consciously.

Our Contribution for reducing waste:

  • To avoid dumping food packaging in landfills, make sure you wash the packaging containers before throwing them.
  • Always opt for eco-friendly packaging options like no plastic cutlery.
  • Don’t order food online regularly, try to buy food locally where you can take your own containers and avoid plastic packaging.
  • The food containers like the ones which come with gravy can be washed and reused for storing leftover veggies etc, or you can try some creative DIY and something out of it.

Ordering food is easy and the exhilarating feeling you get after you hear the doorbell and your food arrives is very obvious. But this habit of ordering food creates waste which gets dumped in landfills if not disposed of properly. It is difficult to completely stop ordering food online, but some conscious steps need to be inculcated and followed for reducing the waste caused by the food delivery packaging.

Contributed by- Ashlesha Karande, Communication Executive at Social Lab

Social Lab Environmental Solutions is a waste management company, which helps brands take-back and scientifically dispose of post-consumer plastic waste of their products. Brands take our services to fulfill Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligation under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2018.

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