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THE INVESTOR
October 21, 2019
Big Reunion

Startups & Investors

Market Kurly shifts to paper packages

  • PUBLISHED :September 24, 2019 - 15:31
  • UPDATED :September 24, 2019 - 15:45
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Kurly, operator of grocery delivery platform Market Kurly, announced that it has decided to start its “All Paper Challenge” project from Sept. 25 to tackle criticism its packaging is not eco-friendly.

“We first set the agenda for our ‘All Paper Challenge 8 month ago to find a sustainable measure to operate our business and care for the environment,” Market Kurly CEO Sophie Kim said during a press conference held at its headquarters in Gangnam, Seoul.

 

Market Kurly CEO Sophie Kim



According to the Korean company, the main change will be replacing the Styrofoam boxes used for packaging frozen foods to paper boxes. The company will also replace all other components used for packaging, including plastic bags, ice-packs and tapes to paper. It added that the new paper boxes are specially manufactured to stay dry and maintain the temperature of under 18 degrees Celsius for 12 hours.

Kim also explained that the startup has been making minor changes since 2016 to become more environmentally friendly. The company said it has upgraded its boxes three times. “We recently came to the point where we see that we need to take a big leap in our packaging system,” she said.

She noted that the firm has decided to use paper instead of other materials because it found out that can keep the products fresh and safe through experimenting with diverse material over 103 times.

The company added that it will apply it to customers who are using its unique dawn delivery service and gradually expand it to ordinary delivery services across the country. Market Kurly aims to apply to all its services by 2021.

As part of this project, customers can also return their used boxes by putting them in front of their door. The company’s delivery men will then pick up the boxes to be recycled. “We have also partnered with Tree Planet and donate all the money from recycling of the used boxes to plant trees at elementary schools in Korea,” Kim said. Tree Planet is a local social venture which conducts environmental friendly projects by planting trees.

Established in 2015, Market Kurly offers a wide range of groceries and merchandise for delivery by 7 a.m., as long as the orders are placed before 11 p.m. the previous night. The startup’s sales reached more than 157.1 billion won ($131.73 million) last year, increasing drastically from 46.5 billion in 2017.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)

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