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Food delivery service Deliveroo has partnered with BioPak and reusable packaging startup Returnr to replace single-use takeaway packaging with sustainable solutions.

The company has joined forces with Returnr to offer customers reusable stainless steel bowls for delivery orders, and also with BioPak to sell compostable packaging solutions in its packaging store for restaurants.

According to Joanne Woo, head of corporate affairs at Deliveroo Australia, the partnerships represent the company’s desire to be a leader on sustainability, and will help restaurants and consumers make more environmentally-friendly choices.

“These partnerships build on our local and global environmental commitments, such as our opt-in disposable cutlery initiative and efforts to introduce paper straws and compostable packaging through our restaurant partners.

“Today, ninety-one per cent of Deliveroo customers choose not to receive disposable cutlery or napkins with their order. That, in itself, has made a huge difference – but we want to do more,” she said.

Returnr aims to replace single-use food service packaging with custom-designed reusable stainless steel bowls.
Returnr aims to replace single-use food service packaging with custom-designed reusable stainless steel bowls.

The Returnr scheme, established by a co-founder of KeepCup, provides washable stainless steel bowls for takeaway food. When ordered through Deliveroo, a $6 deposit is added at checkout; these can be returned, rinsed, to any participating Returnr location to receive the deposit back.

The partnership with Deliveroo has been launched through several Melbourne restaurants, and will be expanded to other cities if successful. According to Jamie Forsyth, founder of Returnr, it encourages consumers to return and reuse packaging, minimising resource consumption and waste.

“Australians throw away over 1.9 million tonnes of packaging each year, enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground nine times over. Single-use packaging is killing our planet – that’s why we’ve created Returnr to give a sustainable alternative to eliminate single-use packaging.

“Since Returnr launched in Melbourne at the end of 2018 with a custom-designed one hundred per cent recyclable and re-usable stainless steel bowl, it has diverted over 85,000 single-use plastic bowls from consumption and landfill. Through our partnership with Deliveroo, we’re excited to see this impact accelerate at a much faster pace,” said Forsyth.

Deliveroo is also offering restaurants a range of compostable plant-based BioPak packaging solutions in its packaging store, and offering a discount for outlets seeking to replace single-use packaging. Gary Smith, CEO of BioPak, said the Deliveroo partnership is an important step in reducing waste to landfill.

“Contamination caused by food residue can be problematic when it comes to recycling single-use foodservice packaging. Composting either at home or in an industrial composting facility offers a practical solution to divert food and packaging waste from landfill.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do. For more than a decade we have been working with companies across Australia and New Zealand to reduce their environmental impact, and it is wonderful to see Deliveroo leading by example,” he said.

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