In the autumn, an initial trial of a new eco-label will take place in the United Kingdom. The new labelling system, which is inspired by the colours of traffic lights, may also form the basis for a European eco-score.
Revealing the environmental impact
The 'traffic light system' should inform consumers about the environmental impact of the products they buy, and help them make more sustainable choices. The system has been set up by Foundation Earth, a new non-profit organisation supported by the UK government, food giant Nestlé and brands such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Co-op.
During the autumn, a pilot project will introduce eco-scoring on the front of the packaging of a range of food and drink products for the first time, The Guardian reports. The products will be graded in tiers from A to G and colour coded, with green representing the most environmentally friendly products and red the least, based on a system developed by Oxford University food scientists with the support of WWF. It assesses the environmental impact of a product based on its carbon footprint, water consumption, water pollution and biodiversity loss.
Moving towards a European system?
The launch of Foundation Earth has brought together key players from the food science scene, food production and retail sectors and is partly funded by the European Commission's food innovation initiative EIT Food.
In parallel with the pilot project, a nine-month research programme is on its way combining the Oxford method with a system from the University of Leuven (KULeuven) and Spanish research firm AZTI, to develop an eco-scoring system that can be used across Europe by 2022.