A first Test with a new eco-label will take place in the UK in the autumn. The system, inspired by the colours of traffic lights, may also form the basis for a European eco-score.
The ‘traffic light system’ aims to inform consumers about the environmental impact of the products they buy and thus help them make more sustainable choices – or suppose they are doing it. The system was set up by Foundation Earth, a new non-profit organization supported by the UK government, food giant Nestlé and brands such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Co-op.
During a pilot project in the autumn, eco-scores will be applied to the front of the packaging of a range of food and beverage products for the first time, reports The Guardian. The products are classified in levels from A to G and colour-coded, with green representing the most environmentally friendly products and red representing the least environmentally friendly, based on a system developed by food scientists from Oxford University with the support of the WWF. It assesses the environmental impact of a product based on CO2 emissions, water consumption, water pollution and biodiversity loss.
The launch of Foundation Earth has brought together key players from food science, food production and retail, and is partly funded by the European Commission’s Food Innovation Initiative EIT Food.
Parallel to the pilot project is a nine-month research programme that combines the Oxford method with a system from KU Leuven and the Spanish Research Agency AZTI, to develop an eco-scoring system that can be used across Europe by 2022.