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Our Pledge To Reduce Plastic Packaging

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At Gousto, our passion is food and our belief is that we should create a sustainable solution to enjoying that food. We’re proud to say that over the past six years, we’ve helped thousands of UK families serve up nutritious, home-cooked meals, without food waste.

We’ve reduced the impact of food waste on the environment and helped families to eat better, but there’s still much more to do.

Our Pledge to Remove 50% of Plastic from our Boxes by the end of 2019

Packaging plays an important role at Gousto and helps us to combat food waste. It delivers our precise ingredients across the country safely, so families can enjoy cooking and eating delicious recipes, without food waste. But how do we tackle both food waste and reduce packaging at the same time? This is the challenge we have set ourselves.

We’re a company who enjoys finding better ways of doing the ‘everyday’ – we use technology to give our customers a more convenient way to shop and a smarter way to plan their weekly meals. We’re excited to apply this approach to packaging.

Three months ago we set up a dedicated sustainability team, who’ve worked hard to find the best ways to reduce plastic in our boxes and offer more recyclable and sustainable packaging. From printing our recipes with Seacourt, the world-leading sustainable printer, to switching our tomato punnets from plastic to cardboard (which reduces plastic by 79%!) and halving the size of our liquid sachets – our customers will soon see the changes.

In your box: we’ve switched lots of our sachets to new suppliers to cut plastic by 50%.

Over the next 18 months, we’ll reduce the amount of plastics in our recipes boxes by 50%. Some plastic items will be eliminated by finding alternative materials and when this isn’t possible,  we’ll reduce the amount we use and ensure that we use the most easily recyclable plastics.

We’ll continue to launch and trial solutions which will help us drive down plastic. From trialling shipping our freshly laid eggs in fully recyclable FSC cardboard boxes to testing out plant sourced bioplastics – we’re dedicated to finding solutions which make a real difference.

We can’t wait to keep you updated on our progress!

New Cardboard Tomato Punnets
Coming soon: by switching to cardboard punnets, our tomatoes have 79% less plastic.

Why was our sustainability drive always focused on tackling food waste first?

Food waste is a huge problem – UK families throw away £7001 worth of food yearly, which could have been eaten.

Food waste is damaging for both families and the environment. Food that ends up in landfill produces methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. It also takes ten times more resources – materials, energy and water – to make and distribute food than it takes to make the packaging that protects it2. This is why zero food waste has always been at the heart of our business.

Forecasting first –  we buy fresh food from our suppliers, based on the actual number of customer orders, not in advance (unlike supermarkets!)

Precise ingredients (no more, no less)  – we deliver fresh, perfectly measured ingredients, so you only have what you need.

Together this means minimal food waste in our factory and no wasted ingredients for customers. By 2025, we’ll have helped UK families serve up 400 million wholesome meals, saving homes from tonnes of food waste.

September Update

In the last few weeks, we have continued to make changes to reduce plastic packaging. In September this included replacing 12 of our plastic sachets. The new smaller packs now have on average 57% less plastic than before. You’ll see these sachets for our vinegar, wine, sauces and curry pastes.

What’s next?

Change takes time, but we’re committed to tackling plastic in the coming months.

We’d love to hear from you. What else can we do to improve? Let us know in the comments below.

1. £700 per family, via The Independent (2017)
2. Source: INCPEN (The Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment. 

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