Plastic-free grocery delivery services – an idea whose time has come?

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A plastic-free grocery-delivery service sounds like a really sensible solution to a pressing problem. Wouldn’t it be great to know that all your food items were housed in environmentally-friendly packaging? So it is worth keeping tabs on Zero, a US company which, after a successful debut in the San Francisco Bay Area is now targeting Los Angeles.

Zero, which works with suppliers to bring food and other household items to consumers and only uses sustainable packaging like jars and boxes will go live in LA on Feb 10th.

The company, which has so far raised $4.7 million in funding from investors including Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital and 1984 aims to be the largest sustainability platform in the US.” 

Zero founder and CEO Zuleyka Strasner told TechCrunch “whatever you need and desire — food, homewares or otherwise, certainly plastic-free but also just sustainable in general — you would come to us. Zero really is a movement beyond just food.”

It operates a subscription system with members paying $25 per month. As a sweetener members are also offered discounted prices on food along with free deliveries. Among the companies Zero works with are; Sightglass Coffee, Annie’s and Newman’s Own and Planet FWD. There are apparently just over 1,100 different items available in the store.

The UK has several startups approaching the elimination of plastic in grocery deliveries in slightly different ways. Edinburgh company  Real Plastic Free offers a range of many ethical and plant-based products to both consumers and wholesalers via its website. Meanwhile, BulkMarket in Hackney aims to offer plastic-free zero waste products via both home deliveries and through its own supermarket.

It will be interesting to see if either operates a subscription service like Zero, or expands beyond its core food offering.

There’s a really interesting interview with Strasner at TechCrunch which includes how she came up with the concept for Zero during her honeymoon in the Corn Islands in Nicaragua. During her trip, she was shocked at how much single-use plastic washed up on the shore, a sight which spurred her into action.



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