Back in March, I sent a package to Deliveroo, containing all the plastics they’d sent me in about a month, along with a letter and blog post urging them to do something to reduce single use plastics abuse in the takeaway industry, which I believe they are uniquely well places to influence.

I didn’t hear back… but recently I did find out, via some back channels, that the blog post had in fact been circulated and discussed. That’s ok, I imagine there’s a lot of PR considerations in deciding whether to reply to something like this! I’m not doing this for fame or to get a response, but to help the many people are Deliveroo who care about this problem, to get it on meeting agendas and make some progress on it.

So, I decided to do better in phase 2.

This is what I had to work with:

There’s less than before, because whenever possible I tried to stick to restaurants like Honest Burgers and Café Route, which use cardboard packaging that appears compostable. Still, sometimes I get tired of Beyond Meat burgers and awesome salads… and sometimes I have friends around and so my order has to accommodate that they might want to eat something else! Over a few months, it adds up.

This time, I thought I’d approach things slightly differently…

Strength in numbers

The last package was sent to Nina De Souza, head of consumer products at Deliveroo. I imagine it placed a lot of pressure on her and didn’t spread the work very much. I was hoping maybe other people would also start sending stuff to Deliveroo, but that didn’t happen – I guess I’m not so amazing that I can start a big movement all by myself with just a blog post and a cardboard box!

That’s ok. There are other ways to create strength in numbers.

It turns out that, when I actually spent 5 minutes thinking about it, which happened soon after sending that first box back in March, I realised that I don’t need to send a whole box of plastics to have this effect. Even just one piece of plastic is enough to get the message across.

So for phase 2, I did this:

Yep, those are 30 hand-written notes, each with a piece of plastic.

How did I come up with the names? Just look through the names here and pick 30. You can do this easily too. Even just one letter with one piece of plastic might have an effect. You can do it! 🙂

As for the message, I like to think that each name came with its own appropriate message. Before writing it out, I paused, thought about the person hiding behind the name, considered the plastic I was sending them, and wrote what felt right, sincere, appropriate for this person.

They are all positive messages. No shaming. I genuinely believe that everyone (at Deliveroo or elsewhere) cares about having a world to live in, to at least some extent, and is doing their best to express that into the world, by virtue of simply being a person who is alive in this world. If they appear not to care, it is perhaps because they are hurt or fearful and so maybe struggle to connect to their own care – but I really believe we all do care.

So my messages are all aimed at seeing what’s good already in each of these recipients, rather than trying to coerce or pressure them.

I’m curious to see if and how this works!

Here are some of the letters going out:

I’ve spread them across a few days so this can build up for a few days.

Of course there were still some leftover plastics…

Those have gone to Nina again, with another bespoke letter.

I am really curious to find out what happens next with this. Will there be a phase 3? Maybe.

Wanna get in on the action?

Next time you order a Deliveroo, just save (and wash) one of the pieces of plastic you receive, put it in an envelope with a note addressed to one of the people from, and ship it to an address which I now know by heart, having written it out 31 times in the last couple of days:

<Name of the person>
1 Cannon Bridge House
1 Cousin Lane
London EC4R 3TE

The cost for a 2nd class “large letter” is 83p. It’s hardly going to break the bank. If you’re going write a message, I suggest keeping it positive 🙂 Nobody reacts well to being shamed or threatened. Remember the recipient is a human being just like you who is doing the best they can.

If you do send them something and you’d like to let me know, I can and will update this post to reflect that. I can include your name, even a link to your post, just send me a photo of the letter that you’ve prepared (the message doesn’t need to be visible, that’s between you and the recipient). Or if you want to do it anonymously but still let me know, I can also keep your details private!

Have a lovely day!