Organise a scan party / participative workshop !

Organise a scan party / participative workshop !

Instructions for a scan party: the objective, how to organise it, the resources at your disposal, we tell you all about it!

By the way, what is a “scan party”?

It’s participatory science in action! More concretely, it is the participatory collection + entry of food products data on the largest open food database in the world – Open Food Facts!

Focus on food packaging

To give everyone the means to act, Open Food Facts and the ADEME (French Agency for Ecological Transition) are launching an exceptional participatory operation to collect complete data on food packaging. A valuable resource to find ways to reduce their environmental impact, promote eco-conception, waste sorting, environmental labelling and research.

These data will be consolidated in a public database, accessible to all and updated over time. This project will be done in collaboration with manufacturers and consumers. 

Why take part in the project?

Open Food Facts is first and foremost a collaborative citizen project that relies on thousands of committed consumers around the world to add food product data to its database. As a free and open digital commons, the database is then accessible to all and allows for many useful reuses, from scientific research to various apps. Without its contributors, this “Wikipedia of food” would not exist and would not have the same impact.

Scan party user guide:

That’s it, you’ve made your mind up and want to organize a “scan party” with your relatives, colleagues, classmates, members of an association, etc. Here are some steps to help you:

Get this party started !

There is no typical public, everyone is concerned. Whether you are interested in environmental issues, citizen actions, or food in general, a scan party won’t disappoint.

Make sure you have a space to accommodate participants (sometimes town halls have a multipurpose room for this kind of citizen workshop).

The first step is to invite people to your scan party. To do this, you can print a poster with the time and place of your workshop and an A4 sheet of paper for people to register.

It’s your turn! Get your packaging!

Invite participants to collect empty product packaging a few days before the workshop.

Another idea is to start with an aperitif and use the packaging of products brought for it in the workshop.

Note: You need all the components of a food package (e.g. yogurt – the pot + the lid + the cardboard box)

D-Day: Let’s get it started!

Once participants are in place, you can give a brief presentation of the operation (with these “Tackling Food Packaging” slideshows if needed) before launching the scan party.

Then, it’s up to you to see how you divide the tasks according to the number of participants. We’ve found that it works well to be in pairs:

  • one person handles the package + spots the elements to be entered,
  • and another one enters those data on the app or the Open Food Facts website.
A precision scale example 1 or example 2

For more impact, say “cheeeeeeese” 📸

Share some photos on social networks with the hashtag #TacklingPackaging and tag Open Food Facts to inspire others to organise their scan party as well! We will share your actions. Moreover, it shows the food industry that citizens are not indifferent to the fate of food packaging and have their hands on this subject (literally 👐) .

One, two, tri* !

Once the workshop is over, make sure to correctly sort the packaging of the scan party.

We also have a “trash can” poster available to promote the operation and encourage citizen contribution. It can be placed in your offices for example.

*french for “waste sorting”

You can get in touch with Gala (, who runs the Open Food Facts community, if you have any questions or need help organising your scan party.

Testimony: You can also be inspired by the workshop organised by Alex – Y a pas d’âge pour un atelier emballage (FR only)

Thank you so much for participating, we can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Organisez une scan party / atelier participatif !

Open Food Facts recherche un(e) développeur mobile

Open Food Facts is looking for a mobile developer

Y a pas d’âge pour un atelier emballage !

L’opération “Plein pot sur les emballages” – ADEME x Open Food Facts

Tackling Food Packaging project presentation

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