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Uber Eats partners with Planet Ark in $13m sustainable packaging initiative

Uber Eats restaurant merchants are poised to transition to reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging options by 2030, with the assistance of the food delivery platform in partnership with Planet Ark.

Under the partnership, Uber Eats is launching up to $13 million in funding over the next three years to boost sustainable packaging implementation through programs and subsidies.

“Since making cutlery opt-in, rather than being included by default, we estimate eaters have helped reduce the equivalent weight of four jumbo jets worth of plastic forks, spoons and the like ending up in Australian landfill,” said Bec Nyst, GM at Uber Eats ANZ.

“As we have increased our investment in this area and as we progress our partnership with Planet Ark, we’ll look to identify additional system changes to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable packaging options across Australia.”

Nyst added that Uber Eats will explore rewarding restaurants investing in sustainable packaging with increased visibility on the platform.

Uber Eats disclosed the partnership with Planet Ark at the Palm House in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens and received support from various restaurant industry players including Restaurant and Catering Association CEO Suresh Manickamn, Lox in a Box CEO Candy Berger, and Cali Press founder and director Scott Glasson.

“With the recent announcement that the federal government will become the new regulator of packaging standards, mandating how packaging is designed, setting minimum recycled content requirements, and prohibiting harmful chemicals being used, all ladder up to encouraging developments,” said Planet Ark CEO Rebecca Gilling.

“But while this is a positive outcome, there is still much to do, and there is a clear need to provide support to small businesses – including restaurants – on how to reduce packaging waste best.”

Last year, Uber Eats offered all small to medium-sized businesses access to $1 million in funding to help them purchase more sustainable packaging through its partner Detpak.

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