Recipes

Find Out How Sustainable Your Favourite Meal Delivery Service Is

By Ben Tyers
4th Nov 2019

A person chopping up jalapenos on a chopping board.

Meal delivery services have become commonplace over the last few years, as delivery drivers in cars and on scooters replaced the late-night trip down to the local pizza or fish and chip shop.

But with all of this delivery, comes a lot of packaging. And a lot of it that doesn't end up in the recycling bin.

Most food delivery services are committed to lowering their impact on the environment, but they've still got a long way to go.

Here are the most sustainable food delivery services.

Hello Fresh

Available in both Australia and New Zealand, Hello Fresh has fast become the most popular fresh meal delivery service.

Choose your meals the week before, and everything will be delivered in a box at a time of your choosing complete with instructions, and each meal packaged in its own individual bag. It's bloody easy.

But how sustainable is Hello Fresh?

The food provided is portioned to the exact amount that you need, so there's no food wastage. And if there is any left over, you can easily compost it in your bin, or via the local council composting service if available.

Pouches that food arrive in a made of paper so are easily recycled. Chilled foods come in a bag which is made from eco-friendly plant-based material such as corn, and breaks down quickly in landfill. Any plastics sent can be recycled in the REDcycle system if available near you.

Read more about Hello Fresh' recycling efforts here.

Marley Spoon

Meals from Marley Spoon are ordered and delivered similar to those at Hello Fresh.

Their boxes are made from 70% recycled paper which is a good start, and food pouches are also made from paper and are completely recyclable.

"We are a proud member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). This means we have made a commitment to continuously cut down on problem packaging and waste, and agree to an annual audit of our packaging practices." states the Marley Spoon website.

Food wastage again is low with Marley Spoon, as ingredients provided are matched to what is needed for each recipe. Ice packs can be taken apart with the gel placed in the regular bin, and the outer casing recycled via REDcycle.

Soft plastics which individual food items are transported in can again be recycled via the REDcycle system. Otherwise will need to be placed into a regular household bin destined for landfill.

Read more about Marley Spoon's recycling efforts here.

Youfoodz

Taking the actual cooking out of the process, Youfoodz delivered pre-made meals straight to your door without the hassle of having to do any prep work.

While there's plenty of plastic in your Youfoodz delivery, it's all recyclable. 'Meal sleeves' are made of recyclable cardboard, and plastic which can both be recycled in your usual recycling bin.

Any soft plastics from the top of the sleeves can be taken to your local supermarket and dropped in a REDcycle bin.

Take Away Delivery

The likes of Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and EASI still have a long way to go when it comes to sustainable packaging.

Uber Eats has recently launched the option of making utensils optional, which saves a lot of wastage when most people are having meals delivered directly to their door where they have a plethora of knives, forks, and spoons at the ready.

There is a lot of plastic involved with take away delivery options, but it's worth checking Planet Ark to see which items can be recycled before sending them on their way to landfill. It's also worth weighing up the impact that the delivery vehicles have on the environment as well.

For more tips on how to make less impact on the planet, head to our Sustainability section.

Image credit: Jonathan Borba

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