Zomato & Startup India Unite: “Plastic-Free Orders Packathon” Seeks Sustainable Delivery Solutions

Competition aims to tackle plastic waste challenge with innovative packaging for online food orders

Zomato, India’s leading online food ordering and delivery platform, has partnered with Startup India to launch the “Plastic-Free Orders Packathon,” a competition aimed at accelerating innovation in sustainable packaging solutions for food deliveries. This initiative signifies a major step towards tackling the growing issue of plastic waste generated by the online food industry.

“Zomato is deeply committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations,” said Anjalli Ravi Kumar, Chief Sustainability Officer at Zomato. “Our ‘Plastic-Free Orders’ program, launched in September 2023, has already recognized millions of orders using sustainable packaging. However, we identified a gap in affordable and functional alternatives for smaller restaurants, especially those specializing in gravy-based cuisines. The Packathon is our way to empower Indian innovators to bridge this gap and create the future of sustainable food delivery.”

The Packathon is open to all Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)-recognized startups and will accept applications until February 29th. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of ₹10 lakh, ₹5 lakh, and ₹3 lakh, respectively, along with the opportunity to showcase their solutions to Zomato’s extensive network of restaurant partners.

“This initiative aligns perfectly with Startup India’s mission to support sustainable practices and empower Indian businesses,” said Aastha Grover, Vice President of Startup India. “Plastic pollution is a critical challenge, and we believe Indian startups have the potential to develop innovative and scalable solutions for the food delivery sector. The Packathon presents a unique platform for them to contribute to a greener future.”

This competition marks another significant step in Zomato’s comprehensive sustainability journey. The company recently announced ambitious 2030 goals, including facilitating 100 million plastic-free food orders by 2025 and achieving complete plastic neutrality through voluntary recycling initiatives.