When we announced that we were expanding Uber’s commitment to sustainability to include the Delivery business worldwide—taking on both emissions and packaging waste goals in the process—we knew that tackling restaurant packaging would take a village. 

From supply chain issues to costs to required infrastructure for composting and recycling, the concerns are many and can be unique to municipalities and even individual restaurants. That’s why among other things we’ve partnered with packaging providers across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, working to bring discounted and more sustainable options to the more than 1M merchants operating on Uber Eats today.

It’s also why we’ve leaned into reusable packaging pilots in a number of countries around the world including France, Switzerland, Germany and  the UK. In the U.S., we work with the team at DeliverZero—which was recently recognized as one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies for its focus on creating a circular economy for restaurant takeout packaging—and in the last year brought their model to Uber Eats restaurants in New York and Colorado. Today we’re proud to share that we’ve expanded that partnership to the West Coast, inclusive of more than 130 restaurants with a current focus on the greater Los Angeles and San Francisco regions. This news was also shared from the stage of the 2024 Curbivore conference in Los Angeles, where we spoke alongside DeliverZero founder and CEO Lauren Sweeney, and Uber Eats restaurant partner Butcher’s Daughter.

DeliverZero offers a unique reusable packaging solution that reduces packaging waste from food delivery and takeout. With a network of returnable, reusable food containers, they make it easy for merchants and platforms like Uber Eats to offer customers takeout and delivery in reusable containers that can be returned easily—to participating storefronts, or by arranging a courier to collect it. 

For Uber Eats consumers, this is one meaningful way to take part in reducing packaging waste. Since launching just under a year ago in New York City, the Uber Eats and DeliverZero partnership has kept more than 11,000 single-use containers from winding up in landfills. DeliverZero estimates the equivalent savings to avoiding the expenditure of more than an estimated 1,810 kg of greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 6,000 gallons of water. 

Here’s how it works:

  • When placing an Uber Eats order in New York and the surrounding suburbs, Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles or the Bay Area, search for “DeliverZero” or look for the DeliverZero reusable packaging banner or carousel to find participating restaurants.
  • Add items to your order and before check-out scroll to the top of the restaurant’s menu to add “Use DeliverZero containers, please.” While pricing can vary by merchant, the charge is approximately $1.00 across the country.
  • The courier will pick up your order as normal, and your food will be delivered in reusable, returnable packaging.
  • When you finish your order, you will receive a text outlining your options for returning: drop the packaging back at the original restaurant (or any other participating DeliverZero restaurant, which more than 70% of DeliverZero customers do), or schedule a pickup separately by a DeliverZero partnered courier. 

As of today, 20 and counting Los Angeles restaurant partners on Uber Eats have signed on with DeliverZero to reduce packaging waste—and our account management teams are helping more interested restaurants in LA and across the country to explore reusables each day through incentives and more. 

Ready to give it a try? From this week through Earth Day on April 22nd, where available, all DeliverZero packaging through Uber Eats will be free to use.