US-based ridesharing service provider Uber and financial services company Visa have launched a programme to improve packaging sustainability in restaurants.

Launched in Davos, Switzerland, the programme will aim to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in their transition to green and sustainable packaging solutions.

Qualifying Uber Eats restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Madrid can receive $1m to facilitate their shift to environmentally friendly packaging.

The initiative is part of a larger year-long effort to support SMBs who use Uber Eats to expand their businesses.

Uber SVP and global delivery head Pierre-Dmitri Gore-Coty said: “Building on the success of our shared support for small and medium-sized businesses, I’m very happy to be turning our efforts with Visa towards how we can help restaurant owners reduce packaging waste and contribute to the fight against climate change.

“Single-use packaging is used in nearly every takeout order worldwide—with Visa and our restaurant partners, we can work towards reducing waste and helping small businesses thrive.”

Visa chief sustainability officer Douglas Sabo said: “With consumers continuing to express desires to live more sustainably, businesses across sectors have a notable opportunity to adopt more sustainable practices to meet this demand.

“Visa is excited to expand on our partnership with Uber Eats to help small businesses to not be left out of the sustainable business transformations this moment requires.”

The scheme comes after Uber and Visa launched their Grants for Growth programme, which aims to help small business owners in the US recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and other unforeseen events.

Launched in September last year, the programme provides microgrants of $10,000 to 100 merchants to cover some of their immediate operational costs.

These costs include payroll, the payment of outstanding debt to vendors and the upgrading of payment technology infrastructure.