Southeast Asia-focused delivery, mobility and financial services app provider Grab announced today a new sustainability commitment, with the company aiming to achieve zero packaging waste in nature by 2040.

Founded in 2021, Grab serves over 500 cities in eight countries through its app enabling people to order food and groceries, send packages, hail a ride, pay for online purchases, and access lending and insurance services.

The new goal was announced with the release of Grab’s 2022 ESG report. According to the report, an estimated 166,000 tonnes of packaging waste was facilitated in 2021 through the company’s food delivery platform, with plastics representing 42%, or roughly 70,000 tonnes.

The report also detailed the results of a study conducted by Grab, highlighting key challenges in managing food packaging waste in its supply chain, which include a lack of commercially viable alternatives to plastic, insufficient waste management infrastructure, the use of mixed materials in packaging creating difficulties for recycling or composting, and overpackaging and overconsumption.

Grab outlined a 2-phase approach to achieving its packaging waste goal, with initial efforts concentrated on reducing waste and moving away from single-use plastics, with key focus areas including reducing overpackaging, using compostables in the place of single-use plastics, increasing the adoption of reusable and recyclable packaging and enabling waste collection, and the next phase focused on long-term scalable circular economy solutions by facilitating proper waste collection and supporting the use of reusable packaging.

Cheryl Goh, Group Head of Marketing and Sustainability at Grab, said:

“We recognise that food packaging waste is an inherent by-product of our food delivery platform. Change has to happen throughout the value chain, and we are committed to proactively seeking and developing sustainable, inclusive answers. This means both being introspective, while working with other parties in the ecosystem such as regulators, packaging manufacturers, waste management firms, merchant-partners, and consumers.”

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