BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 28 June '19

Giki app is helping UK consumers get tougher on environmental impacts of supermarket packaging

Giki’s Better Packaging badge has just gone live: anyone in the UK with a smartphone can now scan a barcode or search supermarket products in near real time to check the packaging.

The Better Packaging badge provides an easy way to select products with the packaging you want. It helps you to use less plastic, cut the amount of waste you send to landfill and buy products packed in materials that are fully recyclable and reusable.

Clear information is also a requirement for Giki’s Better Packaging badge, as the social enterprise believes companies need to provide clarity to consumers on how to dispose of their packaging.

A sustainable shopping companion

Giki – ‘the sustainable shopping companion’ – awards various badges that help you to select the products that best match your ethics while you’re on the go.

The free app contains information on over 280,000 UK supermarket products – all you need to do is scan a barcode to see which badges the product has been awarded, and look for alternatives that are a better fit for your values.

The new Better Packaging badge sits alongside 12 other Giki badges, awarded for anything from organic and additive-free ingredients to greener cosmetics, responsible sourcing and animal welfare.

Find out more about the different badges and how they’re awarded by reading our article here.

Cutting down on plastics

Worldwide about one quarter of all plastics are used for packaging. In addition, plastics use has increased twentyfold in the last half century and is set to double again in the next 20 years.

Recent government UK figures show 79% of paper and card, and 71% of metal is recycled, but this drops to just 46% with regard to plastic materials.

That leaves over half of all UK plastic packaging decaying in landfill, or worse, damaging our natural world as litter which lasts for hundreds of years.

‘Anyone shopping in UK supermarkets will have found how hard it is to avoid plastic and to work out the difference between the sleeves, trays, bases, lids, films, cans, bottles and the huge range of packaging used. We aim to simplify this, so we can all see which products use packaging with a lower environmental impact.’

JO HAND
Co-founder of Giki

Supermarket packaging

Over 95% of UK supermarket products use some kind of packaging, but well under half provide clear instructions on optimal disposal with minimal environmental impact.

To add to the problem, there are thousands of different types of packaging; without clear labelling, it’s very difficult to know how to dispose of it.

According to data from the new Giki badge, just under a third of packaging in Baby, Dairy, Bread and Skin and Hair care use Better Packaging.

This is significantly higher for kitchen and bathroom products, at just under half.

In fruit and vegetables, just 15% use Better Packaging and 80% of fruit and veg come in plastic.