“Cardboard takeaway boxes either contain synthetic additives or are lined with plastic.”
Just Eat has teamed up with eco-packaging specliast Notpla to launch what it describes as the world’s first seaweed-lined box for the takeaway sector. The box is fully recyclable and can decompose in four weeks in a home compost.
The online takeaway specialist is aiming to tackle plastic pollution as part of this initiative.
It is estimated that 500 million plastic takeaway boxes are used across the UK takeaway industry each year, and even if these plastic boxes get reused multiple times, they often end up in landfill.
The London trial will assess the feasibility of rolling out the box more broadly to Just Eat’s restaurant partners across the UK followed by other Just Eat markets.
Lined with seaweed, the cardboard container is made from tree and grass pulp with no synthetic additives. It has been designed to be water-resistant and greaseproof, so customers can still enjoy their takeaway without the plastic waste.
This project builds on the success of Just Eat and Notpla’s existing partnership, which has been piloting the use of seaweed-based sauce sachets with a variety of restaurants. So far, the trials have stopped over 46,000 plastic sachets from entering customer homes, and they are now working with Hellmann’s to roll the sachets out even further.
Andrew Kenny, Just Eat UK Managing Director, said: “At Just Eat, we are committed to using our scale and influence to drive a more sustainable future for the food delivery industry. From removing single use plastics to pioneering the use of seaweed sauce sachets, we’ve already taken a number of positive steps to encourage more environmentally-friendly behaviour among our restaurant partners.
“Over half a billion plastic boxes are used across the takeaway industry every year and we know that eventually, they end up in landfill. This is why, we’ve been working closely with Notpla to create an innovative alternative that is recyclable, home-compostable and which degrades in a matter of weeks.
“We’re delighted to bring this new takeaway box to trial and look forward to assessing the results with the aim to roll these boxes out across the UK and our other markets, so that customers across the globe can enjoy their favourite takeaways more sustainably.”
Pierre Paslier, co-CEO of Notpla, added: “Cardboard takeaway boxes either contain synthetic additives or are lined with plastic. With this box, we are offering a real plastic-free, naturally biodegradable option for the takeaway market. Just Eat is a great driver for more sustainable packaging and we’re really excited to help them shake up the industry.”
Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said: “The takeaway food industry creates a mountain of waste and plastic pollution every year, so we welcome Just Eat’s efforts in trying to improve the situation.
“With hundreds of millions of takeaway meals ordered through delivery firms every year, the industry must make the development of sustainable, non-harmful packaging solutions a top priority. While waste reduction and the use of reusables should be the ultimate goal, we hope this is a great step on that journey.”