HolyGrail 2.0 digital watermarks initiative is supported by over 85 companies and organisations


Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes designed to cover the surface of a consumer goods packaging. (Credit: Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay)

DIC group member Sun Chemical has joined HolyGrail 2.0 digital watermarks initiative to boost the circular economy.

The sustainable initiative, facilitated by the European Brands Association called AIM, is supported by more than 85 companies and organisations.

Sustainable initiative for digital watermarking technologies

All companies and organisations will take part in a pilot project to determine the viability of digital watermarking technologies to facilitate better sorting and quality recycling rates for packaging in the EU.

The initiative is said to follow HolyGrail 1.0, a project implemented as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy programme, which united different stakeholders from the packaging value chain between 2016 and 2019.

Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes, which generally cover the surface of a consumer goods packaging and display the properties of packaging.

They are suitable to carry various attributes such as manufacturer, SKU, type of plastics used and composition for multilayer objects, food versus non-food usage and others.

The watermark can be identified and decoded by a camera on a sorting line after it entered into a waste sorting facility.

The packaging will be easily sorted into proper streams based on the identification of attributes, thereby helping to create precise sorting streams and quality recyclates.

Sun Chemical, along with the other brands in the initiative, will focus on the assessment of the effectiveness of these measures.

Sun Chemical packaging inks and materials’ global sustainability business leader and EMEA product strategy director Nicolas Betin said: “Sun Chemical is proud to support this sustainability initiative, working with leading brands right across the packaging value chain.

“Digital watermarks for smart packaging offer an innovative measure for changing the way packaging waste is sorted, so we are excited to explore the full potential of such solutions.”

In June this year, Sun Chemical, along with its parent company DIC, agreed to acquire digital inks business from Sensient Technologies.