While demand for food delivery has steadily risen, the amount of packaging waste and single-use plastic items has grown alongside it. To help reduce plastic pollution, Deliveroo Hong Kong and foodpanda have worked with WWF-Hong Kong to launch several marketing initiatives.
The two delivery platforms have joined the Plastic ACTion Initiative (PACT), which aims to translate corporate commitments into tangible, science-based systemic changes to address the plastic crisis. By signing the PACT, both food delivery platforms will 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, and communicate successes in packaging sustainability improvements to stakeholders.
“Plastic pollution is reaching record levels, with very serious impacts not only on the environment, but also for human health," said Laurence McCook, head of oceans conservation of WWF-Hong Kong.
"At WWF, we recognise the effectiveness of business at influencing change, so it is really encouraging to see that businesses are taking responsibilities to rein in the plastic crisis," he added.
As part of its own commitment, Deliveroo Hong Kong will launch co-branded paper bags. From 18 March 2020 onwards, customers ordering on the platform's sites will receive paper bags with a fun visual that encourages them to help reduce plastic consumption. foodpanda will promote its collaboration with WWF-Hong Kong across all its marketing communications channels, continuously encouraging users to opt-out of tableware to raise the public’s environmental awareness. The food delivery platform will also cease launching marketing initiatives through printed materials and leverage its online channels instead.
"We see the commitment to WWF’s PACT initiative to be a crucial step towards building a more sustainable future for the food delivery industry. It is fundamental for not only us but the entire F&B industry to rethink our approach when it comes to packaging and products," said Brian Lo, general manager of Deliveroo Hong Kong.
According to figures provided by the two companies, in 2019, Deliveroo Hong Kong and foodpanda reduced their use of plastic-based materials by a total of 60 tonnes. They estimate a further reduction to 130 tonnes of plastic over the coming 12 months after implementing these PACT measures.
Arun Makhija, CEO of foodpanda Hong Kong, commented, "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. We’re looking forward to taking this collaborative approach with WWF and other food delivery players in the market, to ensure we’re putting into practice every sustainability avenue available to us.”