ASIA – Swiggy, the Indian online restaurant firm has launched ‘Swiggy Packaging Assist’, a marketplace program that connects restaurants with vendors of eco-friendly and food grade certified materials, reports ET Retail.

Restaurants will be able to access a variety of packing solutions for their menu needs with about 30 products to begin with.

These include leak-proof, sturdy, stackable, eco-friendly and heat insulant packaging materials that will help the restaurants solve the every-day challenges associated with packaging as well as their environmental impact.

Vendors on the marketplace will offer discounts of up to 5% to restaurants opting for these solutions.

The packaging program has been rolled out to restaurants in Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune and will be available to other cities in the next three months.

Thinking sustainable packaging

The programme seeks to introduce eco-friendly meal trays and other items made from materials such as corn-starch and bagasse.

These efforts are done in collaboration with design consultants and manufacturers to enhance faster adoption of sustainable packaging options with innovations and enhancements to the quality of packaging available in the country.

It is also building an on-ground team to provide customized solutions and consultation to restaurants to improve their quality of packaging.

Swiggy’s rival Zomato is adding a feature on the Zomato app to offer consumers an opportunity to opt out of cutlery when they order, thereby reducing plastic use, and that they are working with restaurant partners to increase adherence to this feature.

Given that India has produced over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste, food delivery platforms are changing the way consumers order food with wastage and environmental impact in mind.

It plans to reduce the amount of packaging material it uses while improving the quality of the material.

Such initiatives come after several petitions addressing companies and restaurants which offer food delivery services, urging them to reduce the amount of plastic and all unnecessary packaging in their operations.

In the wake of Maharashtra’s plastic ban, several restaurants have started offering alternatives to plastic packaging with an overall objective to use either recyclable plastics or totally eliminate them.