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New app helps shoppers and retailers reduce their food and plastic waste

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A new app from mobile tech company Ubamarket is leading the way in tech-based solutions to the sustainability challenges being faced by Britain’s retailers.

Sustainability is one of the primary concerns in the minds of retailers across the UK, as growing consumer demand for conscious shopping and the threat of imminent legislation piles pressure on Britain’s stores to reduce their production of plastic waste. A recent study by TetraPak showed that 97% of retailers are making sustainable changes due to consumer demand; food retailers are arguably feeling this pressure more than most, as they contend with growing concerns over food waste as well as the sustainability of their packaging.

Ubamarket’s mobile technology offers retailers and customers a solution to combat these sustainability concerns on both fronts. Ubamarket’s ‘Plastic Alerts’ feature allows shoppers to scan every product in-store for information on the recyclability of any packaging. Customers are then presented with an overall “sustainability score” at checkout, to see where they can easily make changes to shop more sustainably. 

Ubamarket’s machine learning system also offers personalised discounts on products that each customer shops for the most, and also provides a supermarket “sat-nav”, guiding the customer to each product on their shopping list. This helps customers buy more selectively and in turn reduces excess food and plastic waste. 

By empowering customers to shop more sustainably, the app also enables retailers to access targeted insights into shopping trends of their consumer bases, and make informed decisions to achieve greater sustainability as a result.

Ubamarket’s latest research showcases exactly why environmental awareness has become such a concern for retailers as of late, and justifies the need for such technology. It finds that 82% – nearly 43 million – UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically. 57%, or 30 million, think that plastic pollution is the single greatest threat to life and the environment in modern history and 77% of Brits, representing more than 40 million nationally state that, no matter how much they recycle, it is the manufacturers and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution.

Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket, discusses the importance of sustainability moving forward for Britain’s retailers and provides insight into the role of technology in the movement towards a more sustainable future of retail.

He says: “It’s extremely encouraging to see some of Britain’s food retail giants such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s taking major steps towards creating a more sustainable future for the food retail sector, and retail across the board. It is imperative that other retailers take heed of this and work quickly to establish their own sustainability goals and action plan.”

Broome  continues: “Implementing mobile technology, such as that provided by Ubamarket, is one effective way for retailers to get ahead of the curve – not only can it improve in-store efficiency and provide access to useful data for the retailer, but Ubamarket’s Plastic Alerts feature allows customers to shop according to the recyclability and environmental footprint of different products, and enables the customer to scan packaging for information on whether it can be widely recycled or not. We have also shown that customers spend 21% more on their shop using Ubamarket’s technology, but less of their shopping goes to waste as they purchase more of what they consume most. “

He concludes: “It is my hope that we see more sustainability initiatives such as those announced by Tesco and Asda in the coming weeks and months, and I strongly encourage retailers to look into the benefits of mobile technology, for sustainability and increased success.”

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