What Packaging Is Recyclable? New App Makes It Easy

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What Packaging Is Recyclable? New App Makes It Easy


New app Scrapp, helps you work out the recycling rules for your pizza boxes to your plastic pots. Here's how it works.

Francesca Brooking

Wed 29 Sept 2021

Do you get confused about what’s recyclable and what’s not? Or what bin it’s all supposed to go into? There’s an app for that and it’s called Scrapp.

With an aim to make recycling fun and easy, Scrapp shows you the rules about different materials simply by scanning the barcode.

Could it be a gamechanger to how we recycle? Let’s find out.

Two women having a picnic looking at their phone

Scrapp empowers you to make a difference with your recycling

What is Scrapp?

The Scrapp app shows you whether packaging is recyclable or not, according to local council rules, all by scanning the item’s barcode.

However, Scrapp takes it one step further. For each piece of packaging you recycle correctly, you can earn points.

These points can then be put towards discounts on your favourite sustainable brands or donated to planet-friendly projects in the Scrapp app.

To top it off, Scrapp has partnered with the NGO Plastic Bank to help remove plastic bags from the ocean.

Person scanning barcode of a yoghurt pot Scrapp

Find out what can and can't be recycled all from a barcode scanner

Why does Scrapp matter?

A report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) found that UK households collectively create over 26 million tonnes of waste each year.

To put that into perspective, that’s roughly the same weight as 260 large cruise ships.

Of those 26 million tonnes of rubbish, only 12 million tonnes are recycled while 14 million tonnes are sent to landfill.

That gives us a recycling rate of 45%. Less than half.

Why isn't recycling easy in the UK?

One of the big reasons why we’re not recycling more could be that over half of Britons don’t understand common recycling symbols.

That’s on top of differing council rules and working out what goes in which recycling bin.

The Scrapp app aims to bust through all that confusion to help you work out the recycling rules from your pizza boxes to your paper towels (some of the most commonly confusing items).

Plus, the points incentive makes working out different recycling rules a game rather than a chore.

Based on Scrapp’s recent beta test, the app could prevent 610 Olympic-sized swimming pools of landfill waste each year.

Person looking at the Scrapp app on their phone
“The app could prevent 610 Olympic-sized swimming pools of landfill waste each year”

Where did Scrapp come from?

As recent university graduates, Scrapp’s co-founders felt frustrated by the campus recycling system and the number of contaminated recyclables being sent to landfill that was costing the university thousands.

Determined to combat recycling confusion, they spent the last two years building a free app to help empower people to make the right choice.

Dan Marek, Co-Founder of Scrapp says: “We've spent the last two years building a free app to revolutionise the way people recycle and empower them to feel like they're making a genuine difference.

“Because whilst we realise that the plastic crisis isn't the consumer's fault, we're passionate about making them feel like they can be part of the solution. We're also seeking to work with brands in the future and use our packaging insights to help them to clean up their act.”

Three coloured bins for recycling

Cleaning up recycling systems could prevent contaminated recyclables going to landfill

How to support Scrapp

So far, Scrapp has won multiple business awards and competitions. It’s also in talks with major supermarket providers in the UK, US and Canada.

The app is inviting the public to support its crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder. Alternatively, you can download it for free on IOS and Android.

Get Scrapp (iOS & Android)

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