When working out whether packaging is recyclable we look for standardised information on the label (e.g. Card – widely recycled) and other hints that the packaging can go in the recycling bin (e.g. “our bottles are 100% recyclable”). However, we were not picking up loose fruit and veg as it does not have any information on the label for us to use. We’ve now fixed this so you always get a recyclable packaging badge for loose fruit and veg. Why? Because if you take your own bag then any leftovers are the most naturally recyclable, compostable packaging you can find. Tell us if you see examples where it’s not working.
We continue to add new products every week that are coming from users. The response has been fantastic. The two main companies they come from are M&S and Tesco as we don’t have good coverage of their products as well as lots of interesting products from smaller brands.
With the move from Local to UK made we’ve also been thinking about ingredient provenance. At the moment it is not possible, across large number of products, to work out where all the ingredients came from and, as a result, we’ve gone for made in the UK (which can include using imported ingredients) as our way of deciding on a badge. The exception to this is where we have evidence from single ingredient foods that the ingredients came from outside the UK (e.g. “packed in the UK using chicken from Thailand”) or we know that they cannot come from the UK (e.g. tea and coffee). Over time we want to improve this and also find a way to bring back the local badge uncovering products that are made in your local area.
One other small bit of news is that we’ve added the Organic Farmer’s and Growers association to our Organic badge. We look for independent, rigorous and transparent certification and OF&G is also DEFRA regulated.
Local to UK Made
The main improvement highlighted comes directly from user feedback. We currently use our local badge to mean products that are made in the UK. However, users have told us that this is the one badges they find a bit confusing as to many local means some different. For example some people might consider it to be within 10 miles, within a drive, within the county or within their region but it does not cover all of the country.
We’re always listening and so the name of the badge, that highlights products made in the UK, will be UK Made.
Finding products which are made in the UK is a constant task for us. Sometime companies are very explicit (e.g. country of origin: UK) but sometimes it’s less structured and clear. Whilst many of us love brands that have a unique nature we need to find these one-by-one to make sure we’re capturing as many UK products as possible. Some of our favourites include “hand made in a wild wood” and “lovingly made in Yorkshire”. This month it was the turn of Irn Bru which says it’s “Bru’d” in Scotland.
Adding new Animal testing third party logos
We are adding NATRUE and BDIH to the third party logos that we look for in order to award the no animal testing badge. Both have a fixed cut off date, their policies cover ingredients as well as end product and they are independent organisations.
NATRUE for example states, “NATRUE does not support tests of cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals and we believe that effort must be made to avoid the use of animals for cosmetic testing globally. Furthermore, all our members do not perform animal tests on their products or ingredients and do not ask others to test on their behalf unless required by law. ”
From BDIH, “It is prohibited to carry out or commission another party to carry out animal testing – not only when manufacturing products, but also when developing and controlling the end products.”
Water is a healthier option
Certain categories of food and drink are always healthier options. These include fruit and veg and now also water. This includes both still and sparkling water although keep an eye on the recycling logo and consider a refill!