ITOCHU Announces Collaboration with Uber Eats Japan in the Sustainability Business

June 8, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU, a wholly owned subsidiary (including indirect ownership) of ITOCHU, Belong Inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Daisuke Inoue, President; hereinafter “Belong”) which operates a business distributing used mobile phones, and Uber Eats Japan, Inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Shintaro Nakagawa, General Manager; hereinafter, “Uber Eats”) concluded a comprehensive business collaboration agreement to promote sustainability via the Uber Eats food delivery business.

In the domestic restaurant business, it is becoming increasingly important to end the use of single-use plastic because of the prevalence of food delivery services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual single-use plastic waste discharge is about 32 kilograms per person in Japan, which is the second most globally behind the United States. The Japanese government formulated the Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics in 2019 with the goal of achieving the 100% reuse of used plastics by 2035. In order to achieve plastic waste reduction in the food delivery industry, the use of disposable plastic containers and packaging materials should be reduced, collected, recycled, and alternative materials such as biomaterials should be used.

Uber Eats provides the world-leading online delivery platform with over 890,000 restaurants in over 30 countries. Today, Uber Technologies, Inc. (headquartered in California, U.S.A; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO; hereinafter “Uber”), the parent company of Uber Eats, revealed the global-scale sustainability project in the food delivery business and announced that Uber would eliminate non-recyclable, single-use plastic waste used as packaging for Uber Eats orders worldwide by 2030. This includes the goal of 80% of Uber Eats orders in Asia Pacific Region, including Japan, to be packaged in sustainable materials by 2025.

ITOCHU has engaged in a business of collecting and reusing used tablets*1 targeting Uber Eats Merchant Partners (hereinafter “Repair Program”) through Belong since June 2022. ITOCHU will commence initiatives for realization of a sustainable society and environmental considerations in the domestic food delivery business along with Uber Eats, endorsing this sustainability project of Uber.
First, Belong will start operating a portal site where over 100,000 domestic Uber Eats Merchant Partners*2 will be able to buy sustainable packaging materials beginning today. In addition, the site will incorporate the Repair Program developed by Belong and Uber Eats, and will offer used tablets provided by Belong.
Hereafter, through this site ITOCHU will offer sustainable packaging materials for food delivery and commercial materials provided by ITOCHU Group companies and collaboration partners to Uber Eats Merchant Partners.

ITOCHU has set “Contributing to and strengthening initiatives for the SDGs as one of the Basic Policies in its medium-term management plan. While various types of stores, including supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores, general merchandise stores in addition to restaurants throughout Japan, promote delivery service through Uber Eats, ITOCHU and Uber Eats will collaborate to contribute to the development of a sustainable society by effectively using our limited resources.

  • *1In a business collecting and reusing used tablets, when the tablets distributed to Uber Eats Merchant Partners fail or the service is cancelled, they are being collected, inspected and screened. If they can be reused, they will be redistributed to other Uber Eats Merchant Partners. If not, Belong will purchase and resell them.
  • *2Uber Eats Merchant Partners that received at least one order within the past month.

The scheme of the initiative