Holy Grail 2.0 initiative has been designed to determine the viability of digital watermarking for sorting packaging waste
Diversified packaging company Sonoco has joined Holy Grail 2.0 digital watermarks initiative to advance the circular economy.
The sustainable initiative, facilitated by the European Brands Association called AIM, is supported by over 85 partners across the value chain.
Holy Grail 2.0 initiative has been designed to determine the viability of digital watermarking for sorting packaging waste and the business case at scale.
The initiative will evaluate whether digital technology will facilitate better sorting and higher-quality recycling rates for packaging in the European Union (EU).
Imperceptible postage stamp-sized watermarks on packaging will help efficiently sort the material into specific waste streams, while conventional sorting technologies may not detect multi-material packaging that may create contaminants in mono-material recycling streams.
The new digital watermarking technology has the potential to separate materials more precisely, which can then be recycled with improved technologies.
The technology also helps consumers to use a smartphone app to find details regarding packaging and how to recycle it. It also enables brand owners to add product details to a package.
Sonoco consumer technology staff vice president Jeff Schuetz said: “Sonoco has been engaged in sustainability efforts almost as early as our founding. We are one of the few companies in our industry with a recycling business, and we are highly focused on creating more sustainable packaging as evidenced by the introduction of our EnviroSense line, packaging with tomorrow in mind.
“Our EnviroSense portfolio focuses on attributes such as reduced environmental impact, optimized package-to-product ratio, increased use of recycled content, recyclability, responsible fibre sourcing, compostability, and the use of bio-based materials.”
Sonoco offers different consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services.
With annualised net sales of around $5.4bn, the company employs around 23,000 employees in about 300 operations in 36 countries.
In November, DIC group member Sun Chemical joined HolyGrail 2.0 digital watermarks initiative to boost the circular economy.