Giving plastic packaging a digital identity for recycling

Tuesday, 17 November, 2020

Giving plastic packaging a digital identity for recycling

Packaging manufacturer PACCOR has introduced digital identity to its plastic packaging solutions, enabling the correct identification of each package throughout the value chain.

Created in collaboration with the Digimarc Corporation, the company said the innovation was a big step into the recycling economy.

“For the first time, it is now possible to differentiate between food and non-food packaging and to achieve high-quality sorting,” the company said.

Andreas Schuette, Chief Executive Officer at PACCOR, said the company wanted to close the material loop by enabling full recyclability of its products.

“Therefore, we have set ourselves the goal of minimising packaging waste, conserving resources and saving energy wherever possible,” Schuette said.

The company said the change had to be implemented as its current recycling rate is too low.

“Some 50% of the plastic ends up in the residual waste by mistake, which is burned directly unsorted,” the company said.

“The problem to be able to recycle packaging, for example, in food-grade packaging, is that the packaging does not present itself properly when it ends up in a re-usable material stream.”

The digital barcode technology PACCOR introduced has provided a solution to this problem.

This is done by allowing customers to use the Digimark Barcode directly on the surface of rigid plastic packaging without any extra marking like labels or direct print.

This code can provide consumers and disposal companies with information about the respective packaging — anytime and anywhere.

PACCOR said this means that even if the packaging ends up in the residual waste by mistake, the recycling plant’s scanner can correct the error.

Image courtesy of PACCOR.

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