A recent study by The George Institute for Global Health and Imperial College London highlights the need for greenhouse gas (GHG) impact labels on all food packaging.

This change could potentially reduce the emissions from household groceries by more than a quarter when consumers opt for more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Understanding consumer choices

Researchers found that providing consumers with clear information about the GHG emissions of products can significantly influence purchasing decisions.

The study used detailed sales and GHG data from supermarket products across Australia, analysing the potential environmental benefits of choosing similar, but lower-emission, products.

Technological solutions and future plans

To assist consumers, The George Institute has developed an app named ecoSwitch, which rates products based on their environmental impact.

This initiative is part of a broader push for a standardised sustainability rating system on food packaging, which could help steer the global food market towards more sustainable practices.

This research underscores the large role that consumer information plays in reducing the environmental impact of everyday purchases and suggests that similar labelling initiatives could be beneficial worldwide.