Pioneering Sustainability Through Packaging

Christina Gama
Christina Gama
September 7, 2023 • 4 minutes

For years, the voices of environmental activists and scientists have fallen on deaf ears. Despite their warnings, global temperatures have continued to soar and extreme weather events have become more frequent, highlighting the paramount importance of collective action towards the common good. 

According to the United Nations, every day, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes. These discarded plastics “alter habitats and natural processes, reducing ecosystems’ ability to adapt to climate change, directly affecting millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and social well-being.”

Plastics are frequently used in packaging because they’re durable, lightweight, and cheap. But though they offer numerous benefits, plastics originate as fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gasses from cradle to grave, according to a May 2019 report called “Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet,” released by the Center for International Environmental Law, a nonprofit environmental law organization.

In this era of necessary environmental consciousness, businesses play a pivotal role in steering the course toward sustainability, carrying a significant responsibility to their stakeholders, communities, and the environment. 

Portugal’s Bold Step

While global treaties like the Paris Agreement have seen slow to little progress in reaching their climate goals, European countries like Portugal are taking on more decisive measures to combat climate change.

In June 2019, the European Commission passed the Single-Use Plastics Directive, banning the use of throw-away plastics – including items like plastic cutlery, food containers, plastic bags and more. Following this directive, Portuguese lawmakers took action in order to meet the goals laid out by the directive. To emphasize the importance of this directive and their commitment to adopting sustainable legislation, the country has now introduced a 0.30€ + tax surcharge on a variety of single-use plastic items, including packaging for restaurants like take-away containers, which went into effect on July 1st, 2022. 

Portugal’s commitment to mitigating climate change is taking tangible shape through its decisive action against single-use plastics. By implementing regulations and encouraging responsible consumption, the nation is charting a course towards a greener, more sustainable future. This move is more than just symbolic; it signifies Portugal’s dedication to preserving its pristine natural beauty and safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

Glovo makes it easier for businesses 

Recognizing the urgent need to address single-use plastics, we have proactively taken the initiative to help our partners adapt to legislative changes by introducing a range of affordable sustainable packaging options for sale in the Glovo Store that are suitable for any kind of meal.

The introduction of sustainable packaging in 2019 by Glovo not only aligns with Portugal’s efforts but also showcases our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. In the long term, our goal is to ensure that 92% of orders delivered use green packaging by 2030.

By offering eco-friendly packaging alternatives, we’ve been able to empower our Partners to contribute to the larger goal of cutting down on plastic waste in each country we operate in. 

Since the beginning of this year, we’ve seen a marked increase in sustainable packaging sales in Portugal with the most purchased product categories including greaseproof papers, fried food containers, and Glovo designed containers. 

Increase in sales of sustainable packaging products with January 2023 as a base month


Thanks to the Impact Fund, we are able to subsidize the cost of sustainable packaging for Partners, making the swap more affordable and seamless. This proactive step not only underscores our dedication to creating a more sustainable delivery ecosystem but also sets a precedent for other businesses to follow suit.

Modern businesses carry a significant responsibility to their stakeholders, communities, and the environment. As a prominent player in the global business landscape, we recognize our duty to foster positive change. By facilitating the transition to sustainable packaging for countries like Portugal and partners across the globe, we embrace our role in building a better future, one that is free from the shackles of plastic pollution and environmental degradation.