Pioneering digital watermarks for smart packaging recycling in the EU – launch of cross-value chain initiative to drive circular economy goals
Image: Holy Grail 2.0 Watermark Reveal Visual
Borealis is one of over 130 organisations representing the packaging value chain who have joined forces to assess whether a pioneering digital technology can enable better sorting and higher-quality recycling rates for packaging in the EU.
One of the most pressing challenges in achieving a circular economy for packaging is to better sort post-consumer waste by accurately identifying packaging, resulting in more efficient and higher-quality recycling. Digital watermarks may have the potential to revolutionise the way packaging is sorted in the waste management system, as it opens new possibilities that are currently not feasible with existing technologies. The discovery was made under the New Plastics Economy programme of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which investigated different innovations to improve post-consumer recycling. Digital watermarks were found to be the most promising technology, gathering support among the majority of stakeholders and passing a basic proof of concept on a test sorting line. The branded goods industry has now stepped in to facilitate the next phase as cross-value chain initiative under the name “HolyGrail 2.0”, which will take place on a much greater scale and scope. This will include the launch of an industrial pilot in order to prove the viability of digital watermarks technologies for more accurate sorting of packaging and higher-quality recycling, as well as the business case at large scale.
Read the original media release here.
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