FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, UK

Just Eat trials seaweed-based sauce sachets to curb plastic waste

The sachets are biodegradable, compostable and edible.

Looking to tackle the impact of takeaways on plastic pollution, Just Eat has launched a trial of Ooho! seaweed-based sauce sachets that are fully compostable, decomposing within six weeks.

The online takeaway platform is working with key industry experts to invest in the research and development of innovative and practical alternatives for single use plastics. The Ooho! Seaweed Sauce sachets, created in partnership with sustainable packaging development company Skipping Rocks Lab, are biodegradable, compostable and even edible.

The new sachets are part of a package of measures to reduce excess plastics included in UK takeaway deliveries. Altogether, over 11 billion plastic condiment sachets are sold globally and as part of its initiative to find alternatives to single use plastic packaging,

Just Eat will trial the use of seaweed-based sauce sachets with restaurant partner, The Fat Pizza, in Southend for six weeks. They currently work with 29,000 restaurant partners in the UK and the trial will assess the feasibility of rolling out the seaweed sauce sachets more broadly across its network.

The sachets, which are filled with either ketchup or garlic sauce, are made from an alginate-based material. They are opened just like normal sachets and can be thrown into the home compost, or otherwise the normal bin, to fully decompose.

Other measures announced by Just Eat as part of its commitment to reduce plastic pollution across the UK takeaway sector include: stopping the sale of single use plastics in its shop in March; and trialling a pre-ticked box on its app and website to encourage customers to opt out of receiving plastics that they don’t need. By the end of this trial, 20% of users had requested reduced plastic in their takeaway order.

Graham Corfield, UK Managing Director of Just Eat, said: “At Just Eat, we’re committed to helping reduce the impact of the takeaway industry on plastic waste levels and we’ve already taken measures to drive more environmentally-friendly behaviour among our restaurant partners and customers. We’re delighted to now be taking our commitment a step further through our partnership with Skipping Rocks Lab.”

“The Ooho Sauce Sachets trial and the results from it, will form an important part of our ongoing work to develop innovative and credible alternatives to traditional single-use plastic packaging currently in use across the takeaway sector.”

Pierre Paslier, Co-Founder, Skipping Rocks Lab, said: “As an innovative sustainable packaging startup, we are passionate about pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed to create packaging with low environmental impact.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Just Eat to trial the use of our novel sauce sachets. They are 100% plant based, naturally biodegradable and decompose within six weeks, making them a natural and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic packaging.”

Sunny Chhina, Owner of The Fat Pizza, said: “As an independent business owner, I want to make sure I’m doing my part to help fight plastic pollution in the takeaway industry. I think the commitment Just Eat has made to reduce the impact of plastic waste is fantastic and I am thrilled to be part of this exciting initiative by trialling the use of Ooho! Seaweed based sauce sachets in my restaurant.”

The commitment to reduce the impact of plastics in the takeaway sector is one aspect of Just Eat’s sustainability strategy. In April, Just Eat partnered with Eskuta to help reduce carbon emissions in cities across the UK, by offering its restaurant partners access to market leading discounted electric scooters for food deliveries in a bid to drive more ‘eco-friendly’ behaviour.

(Photo credit: Just Eat)

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