A new not-for-profit packaging data-sharing platform, GING, is launching today. Its cloud-based software aims to enable users to store and share data on packaging along their supply chains in a quick, user-friendly and secure way.

It is built around the free-to-use Open 3P data standard for the packaging sector, launched earlier this year.

Both solutions have been developed with a consortium of industry partners, input from over 100 packaging sector stakeholders, and funding from UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK. The partners involved include Dsposal, Ecosurety, Open Data Manchester, OPRL, and RECOUP.

GING enables businesses to share accurate, up-to-date, granular packaging data with their supply chains, both domestic and international, in a bid to allow every organisation along the chain to access better quality data easily and quickly whenever necessary.

Data flows through the system, from packaging materials suppliers right through to the point where final pack formats are placed on the market. It also facilitates key data flowing back down the chain from retailers and brands and streamlines data sharing with compliance schemes for regulatory purposes.

The new platform comes online at a critical time for the packaging value chain, as legislative frameworks including Extended Producer Responsibility and the UK Plastic Packaging Tax impose greater data capture and reporting obligations. But according to the consortium partners involved, it has been designed to help with much more than just compliance.

Users of the platform will be able to protect commercially sensitive or proprietary data and will have complete control over what data they share and with whom.

GING will also enable integration with a variety of software and data services so that users can make the most of their existing software systems and new innovations without needing to manually transfer data, cutting down on double entry and associated errors and streamlining workflows.

A new not-for-profit entity to run GING has been incorporated. It is a company limited by guarantee with an asset and profit lock and a clearly defined and protected mission statement, with oversight from “Mission Guardians” who will report on the company’s performance against its mission and hold specific veto powers.

The “Mission Guardians” – Paula Chin, Senior Policy Adviser at WWF-UK and Professor Michael Shaver, Director of Sustainable Futures at the University of Manchester, have been appointed to safeguard GING’s Mission to “improve the quality and availability of packaging data for the entire packaging ecosystem for the benefit of people and planet…”

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