EveGrocer Zero Waste Online Grocery offers subscription-based orders that bundle and deliver necessities on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Customers can buy eco-friendly products and farm-to-table meals in reusable containers which they can return on their next subscribed delivery, thereby reducing the need for single-use plastic packaging.
The company plans all purchases upon subscription in its bid to be completely zero-waste, although subscriptions are not necessary to avail of the service. Customers get discounts for returned containers; and reward campaigns further encourage the recycling practice.
EveGrocer, which is part of the incubation program of innovation hub QBO, was conceived last year by four co-founders. Two have a background in customized packaging and manufacturing of marketing materials. After realizing that plastic packaging was being thrown every day by customers who were not aware of how these contributed to landfill problems, they decided to collaborate with two other co-founders with design expertise, and pivoted to a solution that involved refilling.
The zero-waste approach of EveGrocer is timely given the “plastic pandemic” due to the global rise in demand for face shields, gloves, protective personal equipment, and takeaway food containers because of the novel coronavirus. In the Philippines, Vietnam, and India, as much as 80% of the recycling industry was not operating during the height of the pandemic. Short-term thinking about excessive plastic waste during the pandemic could lead to a larger environmental and public health calamity long-term, said Jacob Duer, president and CEO of Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
The online grocery’s early adopters were composed of zero-waste advocates, and working moms and dads who were active in supporting the sustainability campaign, said Ma. Leonelle Sandoval, Eve Grocer co-founder and chief executive officer.
When strict lockdowns in early March prompted panic-buying at groceries, EveGrocer launched the Necessity Bundle, which includes 3 kilos of chicken leg quarters, 5 kilos of rice, 100 grams of vegan pasta, and a liter cooking oil or dishwashing liquid. The bundle was delivered to quarantined families, who have since become loyal EveGrocer customers.
The platform will launch its pilot multi-vendor website before the end of 2020, with the grand launch slated on February 14, EveGrocer’s first year anniversary. Merchants nationwide and in select countries who register will have their own dashboards, as well as access to payment gateways and automated logistics.
“We want to encourage brands to shift their packaging to a more sustainable material,” said Ms. Sandoval. “The goal is to create a new sustainable supply chain system that is scalable and easy to use.” — Patricia B. Mirasol