Sustainable shopping companion Giki has just launched a brand new badge to help people tackle the issue of plastic waste.
The ‘Better Packaging’ badge, which is awarded to products that have easy-to-recycle packaging, will help shoppers to choose more mindfully if they’re looking to cut down on packaging or products containing elements that cannot be easily recycled.
The beauty of Giki is that all shoppers need to do is download the Giki app for free and use it to scan the barcode of an item whilst out shopping (or at home) to see if a product has the badge or not.
Jo Hand, co-founder of Giki says: “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.”
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. 
In addition, there are thousands of different types of packaging and without clear labelling, so it’s very difficult to know how to dispose of it.
The aims of the Better Packaging badge are:
- Reduce single-use 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.
- To cut waste to landfill by reducing demand for non-recyclable materials. In the UK, under half of all household waste is recycled.
- Identify packaging which is fully recyclable and encourage increased recycling rates. 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.
The Better Packaging badge sits alongside 12 other badges on environmental impact, health and animal welfare and in total Giki rates 280,000 UK supermarket products across these indicators. Information is delivered free via the Giki app.
 This assumes you take your own bags for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. If you don’t the figure is higher.
 Based on Giki’s database of 280,000 UK supermarket products
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