(Facebook, Uber Eats SA)
(Facebook, Uber Eats SA)
  • Uber Eats orders will no longer come with plastic utensils automatically included in South Africa 
  • The move, Uber Eats said this week, is intended to reduce single-use plastic consumption.
  • Pick n Pay, Woolworths, and KFC have also recently started to ditch plastic.  
  • For more stories go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

Uber Eats, South Africa's largest food delivery service, will no longer include utensils automatically with orders. 

Instead, consumers will have to request straws, cutlery, and other extras when using the service.

Uber Eats told Business Insider that the new default setting to exclude utensils was implemented in South Africa on October 7. 

It follows a global launch of the new plastic opt-out default on September 26.

Also read: This is SA’s favourite restaurant in Cape Town, Durban and Joburg, according to OrderIn

The hope is that the new default option will reduce the amount of plastic being distributed by the service. 

Uber Eats South Africa said reducing plastic waste needs to be a world-wide movement. 

Research has highlighted that single-use plastic has a devastating impact on natural ecosystems and urban infrastructure, Uber Eats said. 

“In South Africa, pollution found on the beaches is 90% plastic, with 77% of this being single-use plastic items.” 

Also read: South Africans hate tomatoes, and many will pay extra to have pap delivered, says Uber Eats survey

The company said single-use plastic remains one of the toughest waste streams to deal with, and is near-impossible to recycle. 

“While it may be a relatively small step, it is just the beginning in looking at more innovative ways the app can become eco-sustainable,” Uber Eats said. 

Uber Eats is one of several companies in South Africa to reduce its plastic consumption. 

Woolworths has started to ban plastic bags at some of its stores, Pick n Pay started launching vegetable aisles without plastic packaging, and KFC ditched plastic straws at its local outlets.

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