China’s food delivery apps are convenient for many people, but mostly inconvenient for the planet
We thought going digital meant zero waste. Or at least, less waste. Why else would we send you this newsletter via email and not, like, through the post?
For China, however, it seems going digital meant more waste. The culprit? Food delivery apps.
With an estimated $70 billion worth of orders delivered in 2018, China’s online takeout business is flying high, fueled by inexpensive delivery fees, generous discounts, and just plain laziness.
Look, we’re not judging the laziness. We’ve all been there. But we’re judging the amount of plastic trash it generates. In 2017, food delivery apps in China generated 1.2 million tons of waste from plastic containers alone, according to a report from The New York Times.
What’s with the plastic containers? These symbols of modern-day conveniences get really oily and will need to be washed first, so scavengers find it inconvenient to recycle them. Oh, the irony.