With snow blanketing much of the UK, many Britons will be looking forward to cosying up on the sofa with a delicious takeaway this weekend.
But if you’re ordering through the Just Eat app, a new feature could influence your decision.
The food delivery platform is adding carbon ratings in a new trial that aims to encourage customers to choose more environmentally friendly meals.
The traffic light-style rating system will factor in the farming, production, transport and packaging of dishes.
‘This trial, with the support of our restaurant partners, aims to empower and educate our consumers on the impact food choices can have on our planet,’ said Jaz Rabadia, Head of Responsible Business and Sustainability at Just Eat.
Just Eat is adding carbon ratings in a new trial, which aims to encourage customers to choose more environmentally friendly meals
The ratings range from ‘A’, which indicates a very low carbon impact, through to E, which indicates a very high carbon impact
Just Eat has joined forces with My Emissions for the trial, which will run across five restaurants in Brighton for the next 12 weeks.
The menus for these restaurants – Smoque Burger, No Catch, Brewdog, Fat Pizza and Fat Burgers and Desserts – will feature traffic light ratings next to food items.
The ratings range from ‘A’, which indicates a very low carbon impact, through to E, which indicates a very high carbon impact.
For example, on the Smoque Burger menu, Smoque’s vegan burger, which includes a Moving Mountains plant-based patty, lettuce, red onions, pickles, homemade vegan burger sauce and a fresh seeded vegan bun, has been given an A rating.
In contrast, the restaurant’s beef burger has been given an E rating, thanks to its inclusion of a beef patty.
Sepand Sarmadi, Owner of Smoque Burger, said: ‘More and more of our customers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of the food industry, with many looking to make more climate conscious food choices.
‘We’re really pleased to be involved in this project to learn more about the carbon impact of our food and gain insights into customer preferences.’
Just Eat hopes the new labels will help customers to better understand the environmental impact of their food choices.
‘We are committed to building a more sustainable future for the food delivery industry,’ Ms Rabadia added.
It remains unclear when, or if, Just Eat plans to roll the trial out beyond Brighton.
This isn’t the first time Just Eat has shown its green credentials.
Last year, Just Eat and UEFA launched ‘game-changing’ biodegradable food packaging at the Women’s EURO final, as part of their drive to tackle plastic pollution.
The boxes were lined in seaweed and fully recyclable, decomposing in four weeks in a home compost, according to Notpla, who Just Eat worked with on the project.
‘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.’
WHAT COULD FOOD PACKAGING LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?
- Eco-labels that tell you the environmental impact of the product.
- Calorie burning equivalents that tell you how much exercise you will have to do to burn off the food.
- No ‘best before’ dates, as they promote throwing a food away before it is spoiled.
- Spoilage sensors included in packaging that you can scan with your smart phone to know if it has gone bad.
- Biodegradable coating sprayed onto fresh fruits and vegetables to help it stay fresh without the use of plastic.
- Containers made of grass as an alternative to plastic.
- Bottles made of wood or paper so they can biodegrade much faster than glass or plastic.
- Biodegradable polymer films made from soybean oil that have the strength of spider silk.