Uber Eats Australia has entered into a multiyear partnership with environmental organisation Planet Ark, aiming to assist Australian restaurants in adopting sustainable packaging solutions.  

The collaboration is seen as a significant move towards enabling Uber Eats’ restaurant merchants to switch to reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2030.  

As part of this partnership, the initial step involved the launch of a consultation on a new framework, developed by the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures.

This peer-reviewed framework will guide the packaging sustainability criteria for Uber Eats’ restaurant partners’ packaging across the Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) region. 

The partnership further led to the commitment of up to A$13m ($8.56m) from Uber Eats over the next three years to encourage the adoption of more sustainable packaging through various programmes and subsidies.  

Uber Eats ANZ general manager Bec Nyst said: “Since making cutlery opt-in, rather than being included by default, we estimate eaters have helped reduce the equivalent weight of four jumbo jets worth of plastic forks, spoons and the like ending up in Australian landfill. 

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“As we have increased our investment in this area and as we progress our partnership with Planet Ark, we’ll look to identify additional system changes to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable packaging options across Australia.” 

Under the programme, Uber Eats will publish educational materials developed with Planet Ark on its website, which can be availed by all the restaurants in the region, regardless of association with Uber Eats.