The arrival of food delivery applications greatly reshaped our idea of takeouts. Once an activity that revolved around families going out to share a meal, it is now much different. Food delivery application development makes for an appealing investment for people willing to enter the competitive yet possible rewarding market.
But, at the end of the day, investors may care more about financial rewards! Delivery app owners want to know how their apps can affect the environment and if they can contribute towards sustainability.
Food Delivery App Impacts On Sustainability
There is no doubt that the advent of food delivery apps greatly helps consumers. It saves time, money, and allows users to enjoy hot readymade meals from the comfort of their homes! But, if your delivery app does not act now, it can impact sustainability negatively.
Not Just Delivering, But, Also Picking Up
Due to large food portions, over-ordering, minimum price delivery, and just wastage, lots of uneaten food items are left behind. As a result, food that could be given to homeless and hungry people ends up in the garbage.
But, this is the most important area where your app can make all the difference. Through food ordering app development, you can create a feature to pick up untouched food. This way delivery agents will go to the said location and collect the food.
You can then redistribute the food to people in need. Perhaps you can even team up with an NGO to get this done efficiently.
As soon as the use of food delivery apps took off, one problem was solved but another quickly rose. The incidence of land and water pollution began to increase greatly, the culprit, plastic! This includes single-use plastic bags and cutlery.
With the number of orders restaurants receive on a daily basis, the amount of plastic use swells exponentially.
Imagine if 1,000 orders are placed in a day. Each order will contain 1 plastic bag, 2 pieces of cutlery, and 2 plastic sauce sachets. A single order contains 5 plastic objects that can end up littering the ground or water bodies. This drives that figure to an astound 5,000 plastic waste items in a day!
There is still a widespread presence of plastic on the market around the world. Cutting its presence from the food and dining industry would be a great help. There is already a replacement for plastic bags in the form of material and brown paper bags. It is very likely plastic bags will not be missed!
Your app luckily can make a huge difference! Include a small input box during checkout that allows users to decide if they want or do not want cutlery. More often than not, cutlery is not really required for all ordered meals.
One method to tackle plastic cutlery issues is to adopt compostable bamboo cutlery. These are sustainably made and can be decomposed instead of circulating the earth for decades!
Another way to dissuade cutlery is to place a small fee for people who opt for cutlery. Maybe it will make consumers carry reusable cutlery with them! This might seem like a harsh step, but for the sake of the environment, it might become mandatory.
Plastic bags have been a nuisance even before the arrival of food delivery apps. They remain a major polluting agent to the environment despite government attempts to tackle the issue. To make matters worse, many people are unable to distinguish between different types of plastics (biodegradable and non-biodegradable).
A solution is to decide for customers and make restaurants opt for recyclable brown paper bags instead of plastic bags. Again, you can ask your food delivery app developer to implement this change during the development of your food delivery app.
Food wastage itself does affect sustainability itself, it requires more vegetables to be harvested than actually required. This wastage affects farming by increasing demand and while supply cannot be sped up.
At the end of the day in a restaurant, there is bound to be a lot of food wastage. Working to solve this sustainability problem will take a combined effort from restaurants, delivery partners, the consumers, and your food delivery application.
Recycling and Repurposing Ingredients
When it comes to the food delivery industry, apps can play a larger role to influence sustainability if they want to. Ingredients that longer can serve their purpose must undergo recycling or repurposing.
An example of one such ingredient is oil! Oil has a limit to its use, after which it becomes unhealthy and possibly toxic as well. This oil needs to be repurposed in order to avoid harming consumers and restaurant workers.
In India, the Indian Food Safety and Standards Authority initiated the RUCO initiative (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil). This movement aims to collect used cooking oil, collect it, and distribute it to biodiesel manufacturers.
This was initiated by a food delivery app (Zomato) and the hopes are that it expands to several more cities. Maybe the trend will even travel to other countries and solve the problem of used restaurant oil forever!
Avoiding Air Pollution
One particular factor that food ordering applications have to pay attention to is how their direct services affect the environment. Delivering food requires vehicles and in most countries, these vehicles still require fossil fuels (petrol, gas, diesel).
Emissions from such vehicles pollute the air and contribute to global warming. It also can increase road congestion in small cities where the number of orders is high compared to the population.
Sustainable services must be provided to go along with your food delivery app development or else it won’t succeed. To combat this, riders delivering food through your application should use electric vehicles.
As a food delivery app owner, your app has the ability to create a positive change or a negative one. It is solely up to you which change you wish to create. But, if you do want to make a difference, you must make the applicable changes during food delivery application development.
You can discuss with your food delivery app developer how to implement such features into your app. Introduce some features by adding a special section in your app. Or you can even go ahead and just add a small box in the checkout section.