Working in partnership with technology firm Polytag, the trial will collect recycling data to report the exact number of Co-op bottles being sorted at recycling centres
UK-based food retail company Co-op said that it is introducing a new trial to count the number of its own-brand plastic bottles that are being recycled to help set future rates for the industry.
Working in partnership with technology firm Polytag, the trial will collect recycling data to report the exact number of Co-op bottles being sorted at recycling centres.
Under the first-in-the-world move, a UV invisible code will be added to the label of one of its own-brand spring water lines.
The UV code will be recognised by specialised equipment that is mounted to the sorting machines when the bottle arrives at a specific recycling centre in North Wales. The data collected will be sent in real-time to a cloud, the retailer said.
Co-op Food MD Matt Hood said: “We all have our part to play when it comes to recycling and, as a retailer, we want to gain a greater understanding of a product’s journey in the recycling chain to help paint a clearer picture and support future traceability.
“This new trial will enable Co-op to gather valuable insight to provide guidance and measurement for future initiatives to encourage more people to recycle and it will also support the industry with true benchmarks for recycling rates in the UK for the very first time.”
Polytag is collaborating with UK devolved governments and recycling facility operators to extend the roll-out and installation of more UV tag readers across the country.
It aims to provide useful data to brands and help them measure the success of recycling initiatives and improve their recycling rates over time.
Last year, Co-op stated that all of the packaging for its own-brand foods are 100% recyclable, in part because of its in-store recycling programme for soft plastics.
Additionally, every product sold under the Co-own op’s brand of still, sparkling, flavour-infused water, carbonated beverages, and mixers is created entirely of recycled materials, making them completely recyclable, the company claimed.