Google is inviting food and beverage companies that offer single-use, plastic-free packaging solutions to apply for its Single-Use Plastics Challenge to reduce the food service industry’s plastic footprint and implement more sustainable solutions at its own sites.

The initiative is being hosted in collaboration with premier food service management company Canteen alongside other food service partners. Successful entrants will be given the opportunity to pitch their solutions to Google and test them at its cafes and MicroKitchens in the US.

In turn, Google hopes to cut single-use disposable products out of its onsite food service operations and implement more reusable packaging, distribution, and delivery solutions. Each product is expected to meet federal, state, and local food safety regulations, as well as the Google Food programme’s health, environmental, social, and financial standards.

As 91% of plastic goes unrecycled and ends up in landfill or the environment, according to National Geographic, Google hopes that its initiative will contribute towards wider industrial action to usher in a circular economy for packaging.

Reusable container company BIBAK raised €6 million in additional funding in February and expected to use the money to take advantage of the French ban on single-use packaging in restaurants and cafes.

TotalEnergies’ RE:newable polymer has also been applied to food-contact drop-in solutions by Intraplás in pursuit of a lower carbon footprint for customers.

Last year, the Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund awarded $100,000 to Releaf Paper to assist in its production of paper packaging from cellulose fibre found in fallen leaves.

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