BETTER BADGES NOVEMBER 2019

Giki’s mission is to help people live more sustainably. Our Giki Badges app does that by providing our users with simple, easy to understand information on over 280,000 UK supermarket products.  

We also look to continuously improve Giki in order to help support our users in their quest to buy more sustainable and healthy products. Here we talk about some of the most recent changes at Giki. We know we will never be perfect, but we hope that by constantly listening to our users, and improving, we’ll get better and better over time.

Shrink wrap

Multi packs often come in shrink wrap (think tins of beans or cans of fizzy drink, wrapped in groups of 4, or 6 in plastic) which is often not recyclable. We have found a way digitally to ascertain whether a product is shrink wrapped and so these products will no longer get a badge unless the plastic can be “recycled with carrier bags at larger stores”. That term is the standard language from OPRL which is our preferred method for all companies to show on their packs. Is it right that we include materials that can be recycled at your local store? We think so as individuals have a responsibility as well as companies but it’s also nice to see innovation moving away from shrink wrapping.

Products added by users

Every month we include all the new products that users have added to Giki. We are now close to 2000!! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to add a product.

Carbon footprints

Our main method for determining a product’s carbon footprint is by looking at the category it is part of (for example beef mince would be very high, apples would be low). However, we also check for certain ingredients (such as beef or lamb) and this month we’ve added prawns and shrimps to that list because they are very high carbon footprint ingredients. We’ve also moved milk drinks out of the low carbon category as milk itself is a medium carbon footprint ingredient.

As ever the easiest way to have a low carbon footprint diet is to follow nutritionist  Michael Pollan’s old advice, “Eat real food, not too much, mainly plants”. It’s healthier too.

Other small improvements

  • Within Confectionery we now only apply the Responsible Sourcing badge for chocolate categories or products where we can find a chocolate ingredient. This improves the relevance of the badge as chocolate is the main Fairtrade ingredient in the Confectionery aisle.
  • We’ve made some changes to how we find the best alternatives that should improve the results for our users. In particular this affects margarine and other spreads.
  • For Greener Cosmetics we now include company statements about being organic for the badge.
  • We’ve found, with the help of our users, companies which don’t test on animals but only talk about it on their website. We always prefer on pack information (it means all consumers can see the relevant information straight away) but website information is also public and so included.
  • We’ve found some additional quirky terms that companies use to tell us their product is made in the UK. We now search for these too and so a few more products will get the UK made badge.

If you see anything in the app which you think can improve please just hit the “Help us improve” button and give us all the details you can.  

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