Just Eat launches compostable SEAWEED food packaging at Women’s EURO Final

With England in the Women’s EURO 2022 final this weekend, eager fans will flock to Wembley Stadium to see if The Lionesses can take the trophy. 

Whether it’s a delicious burger or a hearty portion of chicken and chips, many fans will treat themselves to fast food during the game – and their meals will be arriving in seaweed-lined food boxes.

Just Eat and UEFA are launching ‘game-changing’ biodegradable food packaging at the Women’s EURO final, as part of their drive to tackle plastic pollution. 

‘Using our global sponsorship partnership with UEFA is a perfect way to showcase this sustainable packaging initiative within the football industry, giving Just Eat the chance to drive and test new innovations with football fans,’ said Jaz Rabadia, Head of Responsible Business and Sustainability at Just Eat Takeaway.com.

‘We’re committed to using our scale and influence to drive a more sustainable future for the food delivery industry and we’re so excited to see this come to life at such a huge sporting event.’

Just Eat and UEFA are launching 'game-changing' biodegradable package at the Women's EURO final, as part of their drive to tackle plastic pollution

Just Eat and UEFA are launching ‘game-changing’ biodegradable package at the Women’s EURO final, as part of their drive to tackle plastic pollution

With England in the Women's EURO 2022 final this weekend, eager fans will flock to Wembley Stadium to see if The Lionesses can take the trophy

With England in the Women’s EURO 2022 final this weekend, eager fans will flock to Wembley Stadium to see if The Lionesses can take the trophy 

Just Eat’s seaweed boxes 

The boxes are fully recyclable, and can decompose in four weeks in a home compost, according to Notpla.

‘A typical takeaway box has synthetic additives added directly into the pulp, making it impossible to decompose,’ Notpla’s website explains.

‘During the composting process, we can observe that, while the board degrades, the coating itself remains completely unchanged.’

While you might worry that a seaweed-lined box would be rather leaky, Notpla reassures that this is not the case.

It added: ‘By pioneering the use of seaweed, we created a coating that is both grease-proof and water resistant, while being naturally biodegradable and home compostable.’       

According to the UK government, mass sporting events can generate up to 750,000 plastic bottles and seven tonnes of waste. 

In an effort to reduce this waste, Just Eat has worked with Notpla to develop eco-friendly takeaway boxes that are lined with seaweed. 

They’re fully recyclable, and can decompose in four weeks in a home compost, according to Notpla.

‘A typical takeaway box has synthetic additives added directly into the pulp, making it impossible to decompose,’ Notpla’s website explains.

‘During the composting process, we can observe that, while the board degrades, the coating itself remains completely unchanged.’

While you might worry that a seaweed-lined box would be rather leaky, Notpla reassures that this is not the case.

It added: ‘By pioneering the use of seaweed, we created a coating that is both grease-proof and water resistant, while being naturally biodegradable and home compostable.’       

Just Eat and UEFA are also working with Wembley Stadium’s resource management partner, Veolia, on the trial to ensure the sustainable packaging will be separated from other waste and recycling for treatment at an anaerobic digestion plant. 

This plant treats food waste and other organic matter to produce enough renewable electricity to power approximately 6,500 homes annually.  

The boxes are fully recyclable, and can decompose in four weeks in a home compost, according to Notpla

The boxes are fully recyclable, and can decompose in four weeks in a home compost, according to Notpla

Michele Uva, Director of Football & Social Responsibility at UEFA, said: ‘The circular economy is an important pillar of UEFA’s Football Sustainability Strategy 2030.

‘Working with Just Eat to assess aspects of a food and beverage circularity pilot project at the world’s biggest women national competition match is an important milestone in UEFA’s efforts to minimise the impact of football on the environment and drive resource efficiency and cost savings. 

‘Building on best practices of Just Eat and other stakeholders, we are developing a practical guide to help us achieve zero plastic waste and food waste – within UEFA, across UEFA events and collaboratively across European football.’    

The trial at Wembley comes shortly after Just Eat tested Notpla’s seaweed-coated takeaway boxes with 11 restaurant partners across the UK, including Freddy’s Chicken & Pizza in Liverpool, and Mario Pizza in Manchester.

Robin Clark, Senior Director of Global Partnerships and Sustainability at Just Eat said: ‘We’re excited to continue our work with Notpla to create a credible alternative to the plastic box that is recyclable, home-compostable and which degrades in a matter of weeks.

‘It has all the benefits of plastic from a practical point of view but none of the negative environmental impacts.

‘We look forward to expanding the use of the boxes more widely with the aim to roll these out across the UK and our other markets, so that customers across the globe can enjoy their favourite takeaways without the plastic waste.’

HOW MUCH RECYCLING ENDS UP IN LANDFILL?

Every day, millions of us drop a plastic bottle or cardboard container into the recycling bin – and we feel we’re doing our bit for the environment.

But what we may not realise is that most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead.

Of 30 billion plastic bottles used by UK households each year, only 57 per cent are currently recycled, with half going to landfill, half go to waste.

Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Supermarkets are packed to the gills with plastic so I did my weekly shops at a farmers' market - something that may seem old-fashioned to ‘millenials’

Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter

Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter.

This is largely due to plastic wrapping around bottles that are non-recyclable. 

Every year, the UK throws away 2.5 billion ‘paper’ cups, amounting to 5,000 cups a minute. 

Shockingly, less than 0.4 per cent of these are recycled.

Most cups are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic. 

This has previously posed issues with recycling but can now be removed. 

Five specialist recycling plants in the UK have the capacity to recycle all the cups used on our high-streets.  

Ensuring the paper cups end up in these plants and are not discarded incorrectly is one of the biggest issues facing the recycling of the paper vessels. 

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