In efforts to help food service businesses reduce packaging waste, Enterprise Nation has partnered with Uber Eats and Visa to provide grants for restaurants to spend on sustainable packaging products.
The initiative, titled Grants for Growth, will choose 20 successful applicants in London, Paris, and Madrid, to receive $10,000 each to spend on an approved sustainable packaging supplier. The grant program is part of a larger $1 million effort to help drive the growth of small businesses in Los Angeles and New York.
As many consumers prefer businesses that offer sustainable options, the program will work to help grow selected businesses while helping reduce their environmental impact. Enterprise Nation offers support to start-ups and small businesses searching for funding and advice on expanding. They intend for the grant program to help businesses who could otherwise not afford to switch to sustainable packaging.
“This is a fantastic program that’s really going to make a tangible difference to small food businesses in these major cities as well as the planet,” said Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation. “In an ideal world, everyone would like to do their bit by reducing unnecessary collective waste, but the transition can often be unaffordable, and beyond reach for many small businesses. This program breaks the cycle and addresses the initial financial burden of purchasing more sustainable packaging.”
Food Service Industry and Single-Use Plastic Reduction
Single-use plastic continues to present a massive obstacle to environmental ecosystems, namely the ocean and urban infrastructure. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that at current rates of production, single-use plastic will outweigh the number of fish in the sea by 2050.
According to a recent analysis, the food and beverage industry currently holds the largest share of the global green packaging industry. Without sustainability initiatives from the government or grant programs such as these, shifting to green packaging often remains difficult and generally too expensive for growing food service businesses.
The announcement of the grant program follows Uber Eats’ pledge to eliminate plastic waste from deliveries by 2030. Uber reportedly will continue to provide incentives and discounts in order to advocate for sustainable packaging to be affordable for all.