Just Eat expands trials of seaweed-based sauce sachets to replace single-use plastics
Online food ordering firm Just Eat is expanding a trial of replacing single-use plastic sauce sachets with a seaweed-based alternative to 10 London restaurants for the next eight weeks.
Just Eat had trialled the sachets with its restaurant partner, The Fat Pizza, in Southend for six weeks between July and September. The use of the sachets, which are made from an alginate-based material and degrade in approximately six weeks, will now be expanding to 10 London restaurants following “excellent feedback” during the first trial.
“At Just Eat, we’re committed to tackling plastic pollution in the takeaway industry. We have already taken a number of measures to help reduce the amount of plastic used across the sector and drive environmentally-friendly behaviour across our network.” Just Eat’s UK managing director Graham Corfield said.
“We were delighted to see the first trial of seaweed-based sauce sachets, receive excellent feedback. It is a great initiative and these sachets are fast emerging as an alternative to the traditional plastic packaging. We’re now looking forward to expanding this trial with some of our fantastic restaurant partners across London."
With more than 11 billion plastic condiment sachets sold globally, Just Eat will assess the feasibility of introducing the sachets – used for ketchup and garlic and herb dips – across its network of 29,000 UK restaurant partners.
Sachets are a prime example of the plastics conundrum. They enable low-income consumers to purchase smaller amounts of a product they otherwise would be unable to afford. However, global infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle them, leading to the items seeping into the natural environment at an alarming rate.
The Ooho! sachets used by Just Eat have been created by packaging firm Skipping Rocks Lab and can be discarded through home compost or in normal household bins.
Beverage giant Lucozade Ribena Suntory has also trialled the sachets in recent months, using them as a replacement for single-use plastic bottles and cups at select sporting events.
For Just Eat, the sachets form part of a wider commitment introduced in March 2018 to combat a reliance on single-use plastics.
The company stopped selling single-use plastics in its shop in March and is trialling a pre-ticked box on its app and website to encourage consumers to opt out of receiving certain plastic items. To date, 20% of users requested lower volumes of plastic with their food order.
Away from plastics, Just Eat has rolled out discounts on low-carbon vehicles and renewable energy contracts to encourage its restaurant partners to lower emissions across the UK.