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On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, new app aims to help shoppers cut plastic waste from their supermarket shop

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As we mark, today, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a new app has been launched that aims to help shoppers determine in-store which plastics and packaging on the goods they are looking to buy are recyclable.

The app from Ubermarket includes a ‘Plastic Alerts’ feature allows shoppers to scan every product in-store and receive a “sustainability score” at checkout, to see where they can easily make changes to shop more sustainably. 

The app uses machine learning to 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. 

Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket, explains: “Earth Day represents an opportunity for all of us to focus our attention on the environmental and sustainability concerns facing us in our respective industries, and retail is one of the industries which has such a prominent impact on the environment. It has been 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 in recent times, but we are not doing enough. Whilst the threat of Coronavirus must take precedence, it is essential that retailers begin to make serious progress in the fight for a more sustainable retail sector. Implementing mobile technology, such as that provided by Ubamarket, is one effective way for retailers to get ahead of the curve.”

Ubamarket’s latest research shows just why environmental awareness has become such a concern for retailers as of late, and justifies the need for technology to help retailers and shoppers meet their sustainability goals. It found that 82% – nearly 43 million – of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically.

According to its numbers, 57% – or 30 million – think that plastic manufacture and pollution is the single greatest threat to the environment in modern history. Meanwhile, 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.

Broome 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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