It is no secret that single-use items and packaging waste puts an enormous amount of pressure on our environment. While heightened sustainability awareness has helped to reduce plastics in recent years, a booming convenience culture has led to a spike in the number of single-use containers. And with the ongoing pandemic, that problem has only been exacerbated by a surge in delivery demand and reduced recycling due to lockdowns.
Our team has been working hard to find ways of minimising the carbon footprint of our food delivery app, GO, and we are excited to announce the launch of a pilot programme modelled on a reusable and refillable delivery system. Named GO Forever, the new service allows guests to opt-in for reusable food containers, employing a one-in, one-out model to effectively eliminate packaging waste.
“Like many others, we found ourselves in crisis mode during lockdowns last year, and our GO business really helped to keep us afloat,” said Black Sheep Restaurants Founder Syed Asim Hussain. “What started as an experimental project has grown into a beast of its own, and we are excited to roll out major plans for GO in the future. With more guests than ever opting to have our food delivered to them, we felt the need to take action and invest in a system that reduces our carbon footprint.”
Although compostable, biodegradable containers have been touted as solutions to packaging waste, these can often end up in landfills due to Hong Kong’s opaque recycling system, lack of accountability and infrastructure. The GO Forever initiative removes the throwaway component, with orders delivered in reusable, refillable containers. For each order, the driver will pick up the previous container from the doorstep, to be washed and cleaned again by the GO team and recirculated for use in subsequent deliveries.
In the testing phase, GO Forever will be available by invitation only to GO champions, with the programme later rolling out to all guests. App users can opt-in for a one-time fee to cover the cost of the first container, with all future orders delivered in reusable packaging. GO Forever will be available across the Black Sheep Restaurants portfolio for all orders made via the GO app.
“The goal is not just to combat, but to fully eliminate packaging waste. It is an ambitious effort, but if successful, we hope it can provide a model for other food delivery companies to implement similar schemes in the future,” says Hussain. “Delivery services are a vital part of our current ecosystem, and this could be a game-changer.”