Packaging Clear trays with a Digimarc barcode

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, November 07, 2019
The code is engraved in the mold through “micro-topological variations”.
Photo: Paccor
The code is engraved in the mold through “micro-topological variations”.

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.

About HolyGrail 2.0

HolyGrail 2.0 is the successor industry-led initiative to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy initiative to develop a means to speed up the transition to a circular economy for plastics by focusing on a tagging system to increase the accuracy of sorting and high-quality sorting. The purpose of ‘2.0’ is to continue the previous feasibility study of digimarc barcode as the means of digitally watermarking plastics and lead to its commercial deployment across sorting equipment manufacturers, mold makes and converters, brands and retailers.

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.

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