Just Eat, a food delivery service in the U.K., has started a six-week trial that would save a substantial amount of plastic from being thrown away. The company has replaced traditional plastic condiment sachets with biodegradable, plant-based packets made from seaweed. These packets, created by Skipping Rocks Lab, a startup dedicated to producing sustainable packaging, are fully edible and, if not eaten but thrown away, they will decompose in just six weeks.
The switch away from plastic is a huge change, even in the case of the small and unassuming ketchup or garlic sauce packets. Like every non-biodegradable item, these tiny bits of plastic accumulate rapidly and pollute the environment – but creating biodegradable alternatives that do not have the hundred-year-long shelf life that plastic does can make a major dent in this issue.
“We are passionate about pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed to create packaging with low environmental impact,” said Pierre Paslier, Co-Founder of Skipping Rocks Lab.
The trial is currently being run at The Fat Pizza in Southend, one of the service’s restaurant partners. It will help evaluate if rolling out the seaweed sachets in more locations, across Just Eat’s 29,000 partners in the country, is possible.
“At Just Eat, we’re committed to helping reduce the impact of the takeaway industry on plastic waste levels,” said Graham Corfield, UK’s Managing Director of Just Eat. “We’re delighted to now be taking our commitment a step further.”
The trial run of the new plastic-free condiments packets is not the takeaway service’s first move of the kind. Earlier this year, Just Eat introduced an “opt out” for single-use plastics on its app that enables customers to forego wasteful plastic materials they might not need.
Over 8.8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year, so it is up to all of us to take action to protect the planet’s precious natural environments. To learn how you can be a part of the change and help the environment by limiting your usage of disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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