Greenhouse gas emissions associated with online food delivery services
AffiliationOffice for Environmental Programs
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© Indumathi Arunan
The food service industry has seen the advent of online food delivery services (OFDS), due to the development of online retailing and rise of mobile phone usage. OFDS are growing in popularity around the world and are increasing the use of take-away food packaging as well as delivery vehicles. The resource use for OFDS will have an effect on the environment and this study aims to evaluate the same. The study uses the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) from the OFDS industry in Melbourne and Australia, limited to the use of food packaging and food delivery by OFDS. Data on the food packaging and delivery vehicles used in Melbourne were collected using structured interviews and observations respectively. Data was processed using the Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET), a streamlined LCA software. The monthly GHGe from food packaging and deliveries for four restaurants in Melbourne were evaluated, as well as the predicted annual GHGe from OFDS food packaging use from 2018-2024 in Australia. This study found that OFDS packaging contributed 0.2% of Australian GHGe from the industries and waste sectors in 2018/19. It also found that for delivering one meal, delivery by car, motorbike and electric-bicycles increased GHGe by 250%, 20% and 10% respectively over bicycle deliveries. By providing a preliminary examination of the environmental effects of the Australian OFDS industry, this study adds to the literature on OFDS, provides insights to the Australian waste management industry as well as suggestions on reducing GHGe from deliveries.
Keywordslife cycle assessment; PIQET; food packaging; vehicle emissions
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