Check ingredients: How much microplastics is in purchasing?

Over 38 million Germans buy food several times a week. But rarely do they know which ingredients are hidden behind names like Acrylates Crosspolymer and Cetearyl Alcohol. So it is difficult to consciously buy products that contain ecologically harmless substances. However, some apps help figure out how environmentally friendly shopping is

Last year, Germans spent about 9.5 billion euros on organic products. This corresponds to an increase of almost ten percent compared to the previous year. Consumers also spent considerably more money on fair trade foods at 1.2 billion euros in 2016 than in 2015. The trend is therefore clear: more and more people are more conscious about products and want to know how they were made and what they are made of . But many companies hide consumers’ unloved ingredients such as palm oil or microplastic behind incomprehensible names.

Apps like CodeCheck can help here. With it, users will learn which ingredients are in food and cosmetics. Franziska Grammes from CodeCheck explains in an interview with how the products are rated and how the app distinguishes itself from other product scanners

How many consumers already use the CodeCheck app?

Franziska Grammes: The CodeCheck app has been downloaded more than five million times throughout the DACH area. Every month about 1.6 million people are regularly active in our app and on our homepage. First and foremost, people are interested in CodeCheck, who want to know what’s in the products they consume daily – and who want to do it more consciously.

By what standards are the products rated?

Franziska Grammes: Once the ingredients are entered into our database, they are matched by an algorithm with the appropriate rating. For our evaluation of individual ingredients, our science team refers to current scientific knowledge, on the other hand, we attract renowned experts. For example, our assessment of microplastic or hormonally active substances is based on estimates by the German Federal Agency for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany ( BUND ), E-numbers and additives on estimates by the Hamburg consumer center and palm oil on assessments by the WWF .

To what extent are you liable for the reviews?

Franziska Grammes: First and foremost, we are an information platform that brings together publicly viewable product information with the opinions of experts and thus makes it available anywhere and directly.

How does CodeCheck’s offer compare to competitors such as ToxFox and Barcoo?

Franziska Grammes: CodeCheck is quite unique with its offer. At Barcoo, after a scan, you get information about what a product costs elsewhere. ToxFox focuses on the ingredients of cosmetics and children’s products with a focus on pollutants. With CodeCheck, users get a comprehensive and, above all, personalized rating of food and cosmetics . It is not just about harmful substances such as parabens, aluminum or microplastics, but also about incompatibilities. With CodeCheck you can avoid gluten, lactose or animal ingredients.