Zomato and Swiggy sell eco-friendly packaging to restaurants, to avoid single-use plastics

  • Zomato will soon launch an online marketplace to help its restaurants procure eco-friendly packaging easily.
  • Swiggy runs an initiative called Swiggy Packaging Assist with paper and glass as alternative options.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the aim for 2022 to eradicate the use of single-use plastics.
A restaurant owner in Delhi’s Rohini area has signed out of a food aggregator platform and asked a customer to come to the outlet with a tiffin box to collect food. What might sound like a funny incident, was actually a noble thought – the hotelier didn’t want to use plastic for food delivery.

While the Indian government might not have gone ahead with the single use plastic ban, Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to eradicate the use of single-use plastics by 2022.

And, it seems to have turned people wee bit conscious.

If you order food online from Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats or others, you would know about the plastic wrapping that comes along with the food – from the signature tape to plastic boxes.

But aggregators are aware of the rising use of plastics by restaurant partners. Now, they are beginning to take up an active role.

A marketplace for alternative packaging

Two years back, Zomato was one of the first to come with an option called ‘don’t send cutlery’.

The foodtech unicorn is also working with research-based start-ups and firms to introduce high quality, eco-friendly packaging.

“For a wider use-case, we will soon be launching an online marketplace (akin to an e-commerce portal), employing our network of suppliers for restaurants to easily procure eco-friendly packaging. Packaging offered which will include a segment of 100% naturally biodegradable units, largely consisting of sugarcane bagasse, bamboo, palm leaf and paper solutions,” said a Zomato spokesperson.

Taking charge

Meanwhile, Swiggy has been running a marketplace called Swiggy Packaging Assist for over a year now.

“Packaging Assist enables restaurant partners to get access to a variety of packing solutions including (but not limited to) eco-friendly packaging options made of materials such as paper and glass. Hundreds of our restaurant partners across cities have slowly started using greener packaging solutions when possible,” said a Swiggy spokesperson.

Swiggy said that it took up Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for 100 tonnes of plastic a month, and will grow six times over in the next six months.

Zomato and Swiggy’s rival – UberEats educates its restaurant partners about the importance of right packaging. “We firmly believe that food delivery platforms can play a major role to empower restaurants and local businesses with sustainable packaging and encourage implementation of economical, plastic free packaging / eco-friendly options,” said Uber Eats.
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