The Challenge

Promising convenience, affordability and choice for busy consumers, food delivery services have burgeoned in recent years, particularly in Asia. In 2015, the Asia Pacific region accounted for nearly half the total value of global home food delivery, and it’s expected to be the industry’s fastest growing region in the next 2 years.

This comes with an immense amount of single-use plastics in the form of plastic bags, containers, straws, cutlery and more, with the online food delivery sector reported to be the fastest growing contributor to Singapore’s waste burden.

How can food delivery companies reconcile growing demand for their services with increasing pressure from consumers and regulators alike to reduce the food & beverage industry’s dependence on single-use plastics?

foodpanda, the market leader in Singapore, was the first to take initial steps with an ‘opt in, opt out’ option for plastic cutlery launched in 2017, which has already saved partner restaurants more than 250,000 sets of cutlery, worth $100,000 to date.

But to transform the food delivery industry’s relationship with plastic packaging on a systemic level, more concerted action across global markets is required.

Our solution

Together with foodpanda, Forum for the Future is launching an initiative to eliminate single-use plastic waste from the food delivery ecosystem in Asia.

Working together with a number of food and beverage companies, the partnership aims to develop a shared protocol for reducing the use of single-use plastics, which food delivery companies and their food and beverage partners can easily adopt within their operations.

The protocol will include:

  • A range of options for food delivery platforms to nudge restaurants, and consumers’ choices and behaviors
  • A guide for restaurants to reduce their demand for single-use plastics
  • A framework for how to navigate food & beverage packaging choices

In designing the plastic waste reduction protocol, Forum for the Future will bring its rich experience in catalysing system-wide transformational change, and developing systemic plastic reduction strategies with partners in various industries worldwide – including the influential #OneLess movement to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles in the city of London. The protocol will be tested in two South-East Asia markets to help ensure that it is designed for easy adoption across all food delivery platforms.

What can you do?

To date, the partnership has received US$100,000 in funding from P4G to develop and grow the initiative. We are now seeking more food delivery companies or food & beverage companies based in Asia who want to help lead the change towards more sustainable, plastic-free packaging, to work with us to develop a shared protocol for action across the industry.

For more information or to register your interest:

Get in touch