GERMANY, Zell. Paccor Packaging Solutions recently demonstrated the first implementation of a Digimarc barcode into clear thermoform trays at the industry-led HolyGrail 2.0 initiative’s Open House, hosted by Tomra.
The event was created as an opportunity to witness the latest HolyGrail 2.0 developments toward a harmonized and intelligent sorting solution based on digital watermarks, and to increase the quality and quantity of recyclates.
A Digimarc barcode creates a unique identity in the physical structure of the plastic, in effect giving the plastic object a “digital recycling passport” to increase the effectiveness of sorting in recycling facilities. The code is engraved in the mold through “micro-topological variations”, which results in a subtle embossing effect. Once identified by the sorting system, the barcode links this identity to a database that instructs the sorting system of the type of plastic, whether it is food-grade or non-food-grade, the composition of multiple layers, detection of carbon-black or opaque or difficult-to-recycle plastic, the brand/manufacturer, and much more.
During the demonstration, the company-produced trays were detected at 100% accuracy in controlled tests at 3 m per s, with accuracy in the upper 90% range in mixed waste. The trays showed improved performance compared to prior samples. The trays can be detected regardless of whether the contact-side or non-contact-side faces the optical elements of the detector.