App helps packaging makers comply with recycling laws

A new web app has been launched to help brands adapt to new legislation and meet growing demand for sustainability information. 

UK tech company Buyerdock’s has built a web app that uses GS1-powered 2D-QR codes printed on packaging. These next-generation barcodes can connect consumers to information through a smartphone scan. 

Starting January 1, 2023, new EU laws will require brands that export to France and Italy to provide recycling information on all consumer product labels. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to 10% of turnover or other severe penalties. These legislative changes are part of national efforts to reduce waste and improve sustainability.

Any brand hosting product information on the Buyerdock app will have the ability to update or publish new messaging without having to alter the packaging of their products.

“The use of 2D-QR codes will future-proof brands against a tide of incoming regulation – and ensure brand owners do not suffer heavy penalties for flouting new laws around sustainability,” said Jonathan Sparkes, CEO of Buyerdock.

“Through the ability to provide more information, it will also help to make product data transparent, accessible, easily updated, and safer for consumers – and create incredible opportunities for brands to engage with customers.”

Brands that sign up to Buyerdock will be able to get 2D-QR codes for free. To unlock the full capabilities of the web app that ensures compliance with local regulations, there is a charge of £1 per SKU per month. Each 2D-QR code can store the recycling information required digitally via a web app, instead of on the product, helping to reduce clutter and free up valuable real estate on packaging.

Buyerdock suggests the QR code program will allow brands to quickly and easily comply with new laws and meet changing regulatory requirements across global markets – particularly recycling. 

Buyerdock is the first company in the UK to be GS1 UK-approved to deliver a GS1 Digital Link through a QR code. GS1 is the only authorized provider of unique Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) that are used to create barcodes, most commonly used at point of sale. These are required for selling in retail and are mandatory for Amazon, TikTok, Walmart and other major retailers.

“Recent policy shifts, such as Natasha’s Law, High in Fat, Sugar and Salt (HFSS) Legislation, and the continued push towards Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), have highlighted the growing demand for accurate product information, especially on the topics of sustainability, safety and nutrition,” said Anne Godfrey, CEO of GS1 UK.

“Providing access to such information is no longer a differentiator, it is rapidly becoming an essential part of any brand strategy, so we are excited to be working with Buyerdock on the launch of a solution that offers so many opportunities for keeping consumers informed and protected.