Online food delivery platform Zomato on Friday announced 100 percent ‘plastic neutral deliveries’ from April 2022 onwards, while also setting a target to deliver more than 10 crore orders in sustainable packaging over the next three years. The company recognises that it is important to start promoting biodegradable and other non-plastic alternatives to make them become as affordable and available as plastic is today, Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a blog post.
“From now on, every meal you order through Zomato will be 100 percent plastic neutral, which means we will voluntarily recycle more than 100 per cent of all plastic utilised in your order’s packaging,” he wrote.
To achieve this, Goyal said, “We have started working with cutting edge ISO-certified plastic waste management organisations, who will partner with municipalities across India, to collect and responsibly process plastic waste.” Asserting that more work lies ahead in order to completely reduce or eliminate the use of plastic in food delivery, he said Zomato is also “amping up our efforts to develop and promote sustainable packaging for all types of cuisines.”
“We are aiming to deliver over 100 million additional eco-friendly food delivery orders (orders in sustainable packaging) over the course of the next three years, by supporting our restaurant partners in switching to affordable and sustainable packaging alternatives,” Goyal said.
To achieve this, he said, “We’re going to partner with various stakeholders working on innovative solutions and models for the restaurant industry including government-led initiatives, social enterprises and startups.”
While acknowledging that this initiative is going to cost Zomato a significant amount of money and affect its profit and loss statement negatively, Goyal said, “However, I strongly believe that what’s good for the planet is good for business. I also believe that profits happen when you do everything else right. And this is surely a step in the right direction.” Sharing steps taken by Zomato towards long-term sustainability, he said that last year the company had launched ‘Climate Conscious Delivery’ and also started funding local environmental projects to offset the carbon footprint of all its deliveries and packaging in India.
Zomato had also made ‘no cutlery required’ as the default option on its app. This helped ensure 74 percent of orders go without cutlery “preventing tonnes of single-use plastic from reaching landfills,” he said.
“We signed up for the EV100 initiative, and have committed to move to a 100 percent EV (electric vehicle) fleet by 2030,” he said adding, doing all this, last year, the company offset around 5,00,000 MTs of carbon emissions.