For which type of packaging are digital channels applicable?
Digital channels can be used to transmit the mandatory information related to environmental labeling, in case of:
- Packaging destined to the commercial and industrial circuits.
Please note: In this case, the mandatory information is about the identification code of the packaging material, according to the Decision 129/97/CE. This information must be transmitted along the whole supply chain.
- Packaging destined to the final consumer.
Please note: In this case, the mandatory information to convey to the final consumer is related to:
- The identification code of the packaging material according to Decision 129/97/CE,
- The instructions about the sorting rules for packaging waste.
Which information can be conveyed through digital channels?
Digital channels can represent a substitute for the physical/material affixing of labeling on packaging. For instance, it is possible to:
- Completely substitute the physical/material labeling with the digital one. In this case, the complete information would be available only through the chosen digital channels, and not physically on the packaging.
- Choose to communicate only some of the mandatory information through digital channels. For instance, for packaging destined for the final consumer, it is possible to affix the material identification code directly on the packaging and to use digital channels for conveying the sorting instructions, or vice versa.
- Affix all the mandatory information directly on the packaging and use digital channels for conveying further and voluntary information about the environmental characteristics of the packaging.
Which digital channels is it possible to use?
There are no specific indications about what type of digital channel it is possible to use.
Therefore, the choice is up to the company.
Come examples are: App, QR code, EAN code and website.
Finally, for packaging destined for commercial and industrial circuits, it is also possible to use specific software used by the company to transmit and communicate data and information between suppliers and clients.
What are the requirements for the use of these channels?
- The information conveyed through digital channels must be coherent with the legal requirements. Moreover, the indications must be clear, direct, punctual and easy to interpret.
- For the packaging destined for the final consumer, clear and easily accessible instructions on how to reach the mandatory environmental information through digital channels must be provided.
Requirements for a digital environmental labeling
It is necessary to create a link between physical/material and digital information
If the information is available online on a dedicated website, but the final consumer (or, in general, the target of the information) does not know about it, the goal is not considered reached.
Therefore, it is necessary that the target of the information (i.e., the final consumer) get clear and easily accessible instructions on how to reach the mandatory information about environmental labeling.
For instance, the link between the physical and digital information can be created with an icon, a speaking QR code, or an explicit link to a website or other digital channel chosen by the company.
Some further deepening and examples follow.
Assuring direct and effective information through digital channels
To make available the information about the environmental label, it is possible to use digital channels that refer to a dedicated web page.
- It is important that this web page does not let room for interpretative or consultation troubles, and that the access to the information about the specific packaging is easy and direct.
- It is recommended that the packaging in question be clearly indicate on the website, in order to make the information more easily treceable and available for the final consumer. For instance, it is prefearable to avoid very extended lists of different products/packaging that the final consumer has to scroll through to find the packaging in question.
- It is always preferable to create a specific web page or a dedicated space for each packaging, to which the consumer has direct access. It is also possible that this web page provides additional information about the packaging or product, of a regulatory nature or not.
It is recommended:
- Direct access to the specific packaging/product.
- Clear and easy to interpret information.
It is not recommended:
- Web page with extended lists of different or non-specific packaging.
- Information to be found in a website.
Are the consumers ready for the use of digital channels?
Italians and the use of digital channels
How far along are we with the new purchaise channels?
Through a detailed survey, we investigated how often Italians use digital channels or website to buy/order goods, and to search and read information –including the environmental one - about the products they buy.
Who uses more the new purchase channels?
- On average, younger people use new purchase channels and the frequency drop with the increase of age.
- Nevertheless, even if it is lower, the frequency with which older people use the new channels is pretty significant. For instance, 4% of those over 65 use often these channels, 32% sometimes, and only 20% never.
Accessibility to digital channels
The study also investigated, through a survey, the appreciation for the accessibility to information about the product through digital channels.
In two years, the appreciation for the accessibility to information about the product through digital channels, has grown significantly.
The appreciation for the accessibility to information about the product through digital channels is transversal to the different social and demographic categories.