Green groups oppose Deliveroo plans for Portobello Beach

ENVIRONMENTAL groups have hit out at plans by the takeaway food delivery firm Deliveroo to introduce delivery services to UK beaches over the summer months.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 7:26 am
Deliveroo plan to deliver to Portobello Beach. Picture: Greg Macvean

Bosses behind the mobile app say a beach clean policy will be introduced alongside the plans, which aim to launch after a trial period next month.

But the offer of regular beach clean-ups has been described as “laughable” by local opponents who have urged the firm to reconsider the plans after it was revealed the Capital’s coastline was in line for an early rollout of the proposals.

The announcement comes amid increasing calls to limit the distribution of single-use plastics in an effort to cut down on waste polluting beaches and oceans.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Earlier this year, Deliveroo introduced measures to cut down on its use of plastic cutlery by asking users to request cutlery rather than automatically providing it in deliveries.

The project has been launched with the support of Keep Britain Tidy, but green party MSP Alison Johnstone said the plans were likely to “increase the amount of rubbish ending up in our seas”.

She added: “Public awareness of plastic pollution has never been higher, so I doubt Deliveroo’s business plan to begin dropping off fast food at the beach, much of it in single-use containers, will go down that well.”

“The idea that this will somehow be offset by the odd litter pick-up is laughable and again calls into question the company’s attitude towards staff safety, an issue we raised earlier this year.”

Dr Clare Cavers, Senior Project Manager at East Lothian based environmental charity Fidra said “businesses and individuals” had to work together to reduce the amount of plastic pollution.

Dr Cavers added: “The public has shown a real passion for making our beaches clean and safe for both people and wildlife – we hope this beach clean-up can add value to the existing efforts.”

“We need to work together with businesses and governments to prevent it at source.”

She continued: “We recognise the solutions are complicated, we need to reduce, reuse, recycle and, where necessary, produce packaging materials in ways that minimise impacts.”

The scheme will begin on Brighton beach on June 2 and 3, before visiting Bournemouth, Southend, Edinburgh and Torquay over the following weekends.

Deliveroo’s Joe Groves said: “It’s a rare occasion that Brits get to enjoy a bit of beach time. These moments are special and deserve amazing food and drink to go with them.

“Thankfully our riders can now bring fresh dishes direct to your towel, so you don’t miss a second in the sunshine.”