Today’s Solutions: June 29, 2022

Single-use plastics are ubiquitous in the world of food. Sure, some supermarkets are starting to eliminate this type of packaging, but what we urgently need is a way to do groceries without all the plastic. That’s where a new online grocery service, Rise Mrkt, comes in.

The startup, which says it will launch the service in early 2020 if a current crowdfunding campaign succeeds, wants to make sure you won’t end up with any trash after you get your groceries. All the food it will deliver will come in compostable packages, and if you don’t live in a city that offers composting yet, you can send the pouches to the closest composting facility using a prepaid label from Rise. And for each order that it ships, the company will buy carbon offsets to cover the shipping.

The new service can’t replace grocery stores since it’s starting with just dry goods like organic rice or lentils. Currently, no solution exists for shipping produce sustainably at the moment—other food-delivery companies rely on cold packs and other packaging that creates even more waste.

Instead, Rise is encouraging consumers to shop for produce and other perishable foods locally. It’s not clear how much it can expand, since some products may be difficult to ever ship without plastic. But it may inspire other online delivery companies to consider alternatives, and even to take the additional step of helping customers with the disposal.

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