In 5 Months, Shuttle Customers saved 35,000 units of disposable cutlery

In 5 Months, the #ShuttleSaves initiative has saved 35,000 units of disposable cutlery

My name is Florian, I’m the CTO at Shuttle and I work at our office 5 days a week. During the winter our team orders food to the office so we can eat together. At the office, we have plates and cutlery we eat lunch with and wash afterwards. Each time I saw our food arrive with wooden chopsticks, plastic knives, or forks and spoons; it made me feel a little bit guilty about my delivery experience because I knew I wasn’t using the cutlery. After a month or so, our drawers became full of disposable utensils, so we began throwing the unused ones in the trash.

The remains of a delicious office lunch
The remains of a delicious  team lunch at Shuttle’s office

In the summer of 2018,  our team started thinking a little bit more about taking care of the Earth; we thought, “What if we could give Shuttle customers the option to opt-out of plastic cutlery?” We already knew some customers would be interested because we received a few requests asking for an option to receive less disposable packaging. The requests were very few, approximately about one every two months, so we really didn’t think that it would be a very popular option. During one of our weekly team meetings I brought up the initiative, #ShuttleSaves; and to my surprise, everyone on our C-Level team agreed that the initiative was something we should do as a company.
Our development team immediately started working on the “No Cutlery” option in the app and on the website. We had to make sure that our customer service team would see the customer’s choice, and that the option would display properly on the restaurant dashboard to easily inform them when they prepare the order. The #ShuttleSaves initiative that allowed customers the “No Cutlery” option was quietly launched in September 2018. To my surprise, our customers began using the new feature immediately. By the first month, 4% of all orders chose the “No Cutlery” option. Then it went up to 7% in November, 12% in December, and by January 2019 it was at an all-time high of 22%.

 

People who ordered without cutlery
People who ordered without cutlery

I can tell you from my own experience; it can absolutely ruin your whole delivery experience when you really need the cutlery and you don’t get it. (Have you tried to eat a bowl of Pho without cutlery? I don’t advise you try)

 

This month, (February 2019) we read an announcement from the Korean government about plans to reduce plastic cutlery and containers for delivery companies. It’s nice to see the Korean government taking the issue seriously and we were happy to see that we were ahead of the curve! At present, Shuttle is the ONLY Korea based delivery company that has began tackling the problem with cutlery waste; we hope that others in our industry address the issue before the government has to step in with bulky and rigid regulations. As we can see from the #ShuttleSaves initiative, our customers care about the issue and are willing are willing to take a proactive steps towards creating less waste as long as it’s good for the environment.

Shuttle’s team believes that if we give people the choice to do something for the environment, they will use it! Delivery sometimes uses a lot of unnecessary plastic materials; we’d like to give a big and sincere THANK YOU to those of you who chose the “No Cutlery” option, you are all helping preserve the planet we live on.  

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