Just Eat trials biodegradable sauce sachets made from seaweed

Just Eat takeaway customers have started receiving sauces in seaweed sachets in a trial designed to cut single-use plastic waste.

The project so far involves 65 Just East restaurant partners who are using the 100% biodegradable Notpla sachets for Hellmann’s ketchup, BBQ, tartare and garlic sauces.

The trial is currently within London, with plans for an extension to more cities.

The new seaweed sachet. (JustEat/PA)
The new seaweed sachet. (JustEat/PA)

The Notpla sachets are made from a seaweed-based material and naturally biodegrade in approximately six weeks.

Customers open them just like normal sachets and can throw them into the home compost or a normal waste bin to fully decompose.

They are flavourless and colourless, which means the taste of the sauces is reported to be unaffected.

A previous Just Eat test with 10 restaurants last year resulted in more than 46,000 plastic ketchup sachets saved from entering landfill.

A survey of customers found 92% wanted to see more of their takeaway sauces coming in the seaweed sachets, while 91% found them easy or easier to use than a normal sachet.

Pierre Paslier, co-chief executive of Notpla, said: “Takeaway sauce sachets are one of the hardest single-use plastics to deal with. They’re easy to litter and have low residual value which limits the recycling potential.

“We’re very excited to work hand in hand with leaders in the takeaway and sauce sectors. Sustainability is a top priority for their consumers and is key for these sectors to survive in the long run.”

Hazel Detsiny, managing director of Unilever food solutions for the UK and Ireland, said: “This trial is a great example of collaboration driving game-changing innovation.

“In partnership with Just Eat and Notpla, we’re creating a new and exciting experience for Just Eat customers who can enjoy the same great tasting Hellmann’s but with zero plastic waste.

“Squeezing sauce out of a seaweed sachet will be a first for many, but it’s one small change with potential for big impact.”

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “The devastating impact of plastic pollution on our natural land and marine environments is all too clear to us, and even something small like a sauce sachet can contribute to this blight.”