Uber Eats and Planet Ark sign multi-year partnership for sustainability

Uber Eats has today taken the first step to more sustainable practice, through the announcement of a multi-year partnership with Australian environmental organisation Planet Ark to help businesses move towards more sustainable packaging.

The first step has been consultation on a framework developed for Uber Eats by the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures.

The peer-reviewed framework identifies whether a restaurant’s packaging meets certain sustainability criteria, including what is considered reusable, recyclable or compostable according to the framework.

Planet Ark’s CEO, Rebecca Gilling, and Uber Eats’ general manager, APAC, Bec Nyst

The partnership will also see $13 million in funding from Uber Eats across three years, used to stimulate more sustainable packaging uptake through programs and subsidies.

General manager of Uber Eats ANZ, Bec Nyst said: “We are thrilled to partner with Planet Ark to bring information to businesses that are looking to make the shift to more sustainable packaging.

“We’ve already seen the incredible impact our technology can have on the restaurant ecosystem. 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.

“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.

“We’ll use our scale and relationships with suppliers to improve the unit economics on more sustainable packaging and finally we will explore rewarding restaurants investing in this type of packaging with enhanced visibility on our platform.”

With over 50,000 restaurant partners and millions of monthly users, Uber Eats said it is in an unique position to help reduce the impact of delivery food packaging on the environment.

Planet Ark’s CEO, Rebecca Gilling, said: “There is increasing expectation from consumers, governments and the community to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

“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.”

She continued: “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.

“We’re delighted to be able to announce a multi-year effort with Uber Eats to help them assist their restaurant partners – and to lift the standard for the sector more broadly.”

The news comes shortly after Uber introduced Uber Carshare – ‘Australia’s second car’ – a more sustainable car sharing platform aiming to prevent Aussies from buying an unnecessary second, third or fourth car, and instead, rent one.


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