Online food delivery company Talabat, has announced the launch of a sustainable packaging programme in the company’s two branches in the UAE and Qatar, to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions regionally. The programme is part of the global launch plan of Berlin-based multinational online food delivery and q-commerce service Delivery Hero, the parent company of Talabat, which seeks to launch it initially in eight different global markets.
The new packaging is made from 100% plant-based materials and does not contain any derivative of the popular perfluorocarbons (PFCs), one of the eternal chemical compounds that nature cannot biodegrade. It is worth noting that the new packaging has undergone many rigorous tests to ensure that it is consistent with food safety standards, meets the requirements of quality assurance and sustainability, and is compatible with ethical supply chains.
A study conducted by Delivery Hero showed that customers want a more sustainable and environmentally friendly delivery system. According to the study, 92% of customers in the UAE are willing to order from restaurants that offer sustainable packaging, while two-thirds of users in the UAE and Qatar are willing to increase their orders from restaurants that offer sustainable packaging.
Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of Talabat, says that the company is committed to moving towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly delivery system for orders and groceries. “On a global level, I think we all agree on the need to work towards a plastic-free environment. Statistics from the National Geographic and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation show that 91% of the world’s plastic is not recycled, and that 70% of plastic waste ends up in landfills or in the midst of nature. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. This is the magnitude of the enormous challenge we all face on planet Earth,” Rodriguez says.
“Regionally, our ultimate goal is to work on creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly delivery system, by launching pioneering initiatives and innovations in the food sector, and we also aim to have all products purchased by customers from the Talabat application in boxes.”
He also stressed that although this initiative will not solve the problem of plastic waste in the short or medium term, the aim of launching the sustainable packaging programme in the region on a trial basis is to influence the current situation of food packaging waste and change it for the better.
Rodriguez explains, “This initiative, launched by Delivery Hero, will initially start in seven other global markets, namely Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Chile. Because we are part of Delivery Hero, we are able to produce these new packaging on a large scale, and aim to distribute 10 million cases globally by the end of 2022, which makes it an affordable option for our restaurant and retail partners when compared to regular packaging.”
It is noteworthy that this initiative is not the first for Talabat to reduce single-use plastic, as it previously launched an option for users within the application to order their meals “without plastic cutlery”, which led to a decrease in its use by 62.2% in just four months in the UAE. In addition, the 24/7 grocery ordering store, Talabat Mart, has changed the paper bags it uses to deliver groceries and products, and started using biodegradable and reusable plastic bags, which consume four times less energy in the manufacturing stage.
Jeremy Doughty, Vice President of Talabat UAE, comments, “Sustainability has always been a major focus of our plan as we grow at Talabat. At the moment, it is important for us to take responsibility and start reducing our company’s environmental and carbon footprint. We dream of a sustainable future; not just for years, but for generations to come. This initiative is just another step towards our goal of achieving carbon neutrality in line with the Delivery Hero vision, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UAE Vision 2021.”
“In the first half of 2021, our requests increased by 90% and application download times increased by more than 100% compared to the same period last year. Building on this positive path that the implementation is taking, we are committed to exploring the latest ways and innovations to spread sustainability in all of our operations. We are proud to be among the first markets where Delivery Hero will launch a sustainable packaging programme to offer environmentally friendly alternatives and to serve our restaurant and retail partners, our customers and our communities,” adds Doughty on a positive note.