European Brands Association, Alliance To End Plastic Waste And City Of Copenhagen Join Forces

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European Brands Association, Alliance To End Plastic Waste And City Of Copenhagen Join Forces

The European Brands Association and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste proclaimed today a partnership to drive the next stages of growth for smart waste sorting under the Digital Watermarks Initiative Holy Grail 2.0. Both will work with the City of Copenhagen to conduct the semi-industrial test period about the pilot. By this milestone, developers advance one step closer to precision classification and sorting of plastic packaging waste through digital watermarks, with the potential to revolutionize the sorting and recycling method of plastic packaging.

Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes, all the size of a postage stamp. They embrace the facade of customer goods packaging and carry a broad range of characteristics such as packaging type, material, and practice. Used packaging is gathered and scanned on the sorting line with a high-resolution camera which identifies and decodes the digital watermark. This packaging is then sorted into analogous streams, based on detailed attributes including food, non-food, or polymer types. This leads to more precise sorting streams and higher quality recyclates to be channelled into the plastic packaging value chain.

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The breakthrough signifies the second year of the HolyGrail 2.0 project. After its launch in September 2020, it has grown to include over 130 participating companies and organizations across the complete packaging value chain. This pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 was facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation between 2016 and 2019.

“We are delighted to enter the next phase of semi-industrial testing within the Digital Watermarks Initiative together with our new partner, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste”, quoted Michelle Gibbons, AIM Director-General. “An initiative like this can only thrive with the wide support of different key stakeholders in terms of expertise, but of course also financial support. Collaboration is the way forward to achieve the EU’s circular economy goals and we are confident that this technology has the potential to drive a truly circular economy for packaging.”

“Recycling is a key pillar that must be invested in to advance a circular economy in plastic waste. The Alliance is excited to support the scaling of this project in its next phase of progress, in line with our mission to end plastic waste in the environment,” continued Jacob Duer, President, and CEO of the Alliance. “As testing continues, we know there will be many things to solve along the way, but with strong collaboration of our public and private sector partners, we believe intelligent sorting can be a new frontier that could help dramatically improve plastic waste management.”

The two machine vendors, Pellenc ST and Tomra, together with the selected digital watermarks technology provider Digimarc, are developing add-on modules for their detection sorting units to be combined with existing NIR (near infra-red) sorters.

With modernization, we need a smart approach to our plastic waste. With this revolutionary, developers advance one step closer to precision classification and sorting of plastic packaging waste through digital watermarks, with the potential to revolutionize the sorting and recycling method of plastic packaging.

For more details: www.digitalwatermarks.eu