Online food marketplace Just Eat has revealed that it is expanding its trial of the 100% compostable and biodegradable Ooho! Seaweed-based sauce sachets to 10 restaurants in London.
This move follows a successful first trial of the sachets in Southend London earlier this year.
In March, it announced measures to reduce excess plastic used in UK takeaway deliveries, and as part of this, it partnered with packaging firm Skipping Rocks Lab to invest in the research and creation of practical alternatives for single-use plastics.
Just Eat first teamed up with Skipping Rocks Lab to trial the fully compostable sachets at The Fat Pizza in Southend for six weeks over the summer. As part of the trial, more than 6,000 servings of ketchup being provided in the sachets, feedback from customers include:
- 89% said they would like to see more of their takeaway sauces in the seaweed-based sachets
- 83% found the sachets as easy, or easier, than a normal sachet to use.
The trial is now expanding to 10 restaurants across London for eight weeks to test the sachets, filled with ketchup on a bigger scale, as well as also assessing the possibility of rolling out the sachets even more across its network.
According to the marketplace, the trial is expected to stop approximately 40,000 plastic sauce sachets entering London homes over the eight weeks.
The sachets are made from an alginate-based material and degrade in six weeks, said Just Eat.
Just Eat UK managing director Graham Corfield said: “At Just Eat, we’re committed to tackling plastic pollution in the takeaway industry. We have already taken a number of measures to help reduce the amount of plastic used across the sector and drive environmentally-friendly behaviour across our network.
“We were delighted to see the first trial of seaweed-based sauce sachets, receive excellent feedback. It is a great initiative and these sachets are fast emerging as an alternative to the traditional plastic packaging. We’re now looking forward to expanding this trial with some of our fantastic restaurant partners across London.”
Other measures the marketplace has announced as part of its commitment to reduce plastic include:
- Not selling single-use plastics in its partner shop in March 2018
- Trialling a pre-ticked box on its app and website to encourage customers to opt out of receiving single-use plastic items such as cutlery. By the end of this trial, 20% of users requested this.
- Working with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to create and distribute a series of resources for restaurants to help them and their customers reduce plastic usage over time.
Just Eat and Skipping Rocks Lab have also secured Government funding to further develop their initiative to replace plastic condiment sachets with the seaweed-based ones more widely across the sector.