There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything.” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway. Either way, nothing happens.”
– Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
The mission to shrink plastic from our world will take a mammoth commitment from all of us. But just talking about reducing plastic won’t reduce plastic in our world; our actions have to speak louder than words.
Last year, we took our first step towards long-term sustainability by launching ‘Climate Conscious Delivery’ – we started funding local environmental projects to offset the carbon footprint of all our deliveries and packaging in India.
We also made ‘no cutlery required’ the default option on our app. This helped ensure 74% of orders go without cutlery preventing tonnes of single-use plastic from reaching landfills. We signed up for the EV100 initiative, and have committed to move to a 100% EV fleet by 2030. At every such step, you welcomed our efforts and played an equally important role to make Zomato more sustainable.
Doing all this, last year, we offset ~500,000 MTs of carbon emissions. All towards the mission of creating a greener future for our future generations.
However, offsetting the carbon footprint or emissions generated in the process of producing new plastic packaging does not solve for used plastic waste reaching landfills and clogging waterways.
To date, plastic continues to be widely used for food packaging (approximately 43g per order) as it’s safe for food, lightweight, affordable and prevents spillage. Sadly, most of this plastic, after usage, ends up in landfills permanently damaging our beautiful planet.
Let’s try changing that?
Plastic is a helpful material as long as it stays in a loop of continuous use and re-use. This means waste plastic needs to be collected, processed and re-made into useful objects just like we do for our newspapers, glass bottles and steel vessels. At the same time, we recognize it’s important to start promoting biodegradable and other non-plastic alternatives so that they become as affordable and available as plastic is today.
We are introducing 100% plastic neutral deliveries from this month onwards (April 2022)
From now on, every meal you order through Zomato will be 100% plastic neutral, which means we will voluntarily recycle more than 100% of all plastic utilized in your order’s packaging.
To achieve this, we have started working with cutting edge ISO-certified plastic waste management organizations who will partner with municipalities across India, to collect and responsibly process plastic waste.
And of course, the buck doesn’t stop at only offsetting/recycling the plastic used for deliveries. This is only the first step towards a cleaner earth. Much more work lies ahead of us where we do what we can in order to reduce/eliminate the use of plastic in food delivery completely…
Therefore, along with offsetting, we are also amping up our efforts to develop and promote sustainable packaging for all types of cuisines..
We are aiming to deliver 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.
To achieve this, 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 start-ups.
This initiative is going to cost us a significant amount of money and of course, going to affect our P&L negatively. 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.
See you on a cleaner earth.