iFood is tackling plastic pollution by studying the packaging habits of restaurants and food chains across Brazil, will use the data to help them make better and cost-effective packaging choices; study identified over 250 different packaging variations

Sample article from our Foodservice Industry

October 25, 2022 (press release) –

Plastic reduction is a global environmental challenge. Increasingly, industries and retailers are publicly committing to reducing theplastic used in their operations. For companies like iFood and many others across our portfolio, it's an issue with a global impact thatneeds both innovative thinking, and data to tackle.

iFood Sustainability Manager Alexandre Lima and Sustainability Specialist Fabiane Staschower introduced their ground-breaking Residue Measurement Study to our Sustainability Accelerators Network (SAN) earlier this month. The study was developed to gather vital information to support iFood's bold commitment to end plastic pollution in its delivery operations by 2025.

Their study went directly to the source forthe science-led, relevant data needed to understand the problem. Investigating the packaging habits of restaurants, food chains and takeaways across Brazil to find out exactly what was holding the nation's favourite foods.

More than 580 online responses came in from onsite interviews with restaurants and packaging suppliers across Brazil . The study covered 58 different cuisine types and identified over 250 different packaging variations, including plastics, Styrofoam, and a surprisingly high proportion of paper. It's data gold.

As Alexandre said, "There was a good balance between big chains and small outlets involved, but, while everyone was keen to be asked, many were equally interested to know what would be expected of them next."

What's next is to use this data to help restaurants make better and cost-effectivepackaging choices and find solutions for every stage of the food delivery supply chain.

Fabiane takes a pragmatic approach, "We are committed to ending plastic pollution in delivery by 2025, but we're not saying we'll end plastic use altogether by 2025, we wish we could,but it's almost impossible."

What can be done is to substitute, reduce and recycle plastic usage wherever possible.

In support of this, iFood allows customersto make their own choices through the platform itself. Customers are prompted to say yes or no to plastic cutlery and straws, giving them an active role in reducing single-use plastic. How successful has this been?

According to Fabiane, "We've had an 80% 'no' response! Customers knowthe need to reduce and are also very open to testing sustainable packaging."

The iFood platform also drivesinclusion in their 'Friends of nature' advocacy program. This will give customers the ability to choose certified sustainable outlets, increasingtraffic to those who sign up. It's a win-win.

With the data they've gathered ready to be applied and a clear set of commitments to work towards, Fabiane and Alexandre are positive about the future.

As Alexandre puts it, 'Now we have a better understanding of what the pain points are, we know what we need to do. It's going to be a long journey, which we're all approaching from different directions, but we are part of a global movement, and we are just happy to be involved from the point of view of food delivery.'

Find out more about iFood's sustainability goals and itsimpact report here.

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Chelsey Quick
Chelsey Quick
- VP Client Success -

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