HARTSVILLE, SC, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first The HolyGrail 2.0 sorting prototype was successfully validated in March this year following semi-industrial trials, using NIR and digital watermark detection to sort packaging waste with a 99% detection rate and the potential to develop new, more granular post-consumer recycling streams .
The Digital Watermarks HolyGrail 2.0 initiative, led by AIM – European Brands Association, and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, aims to assess whether digital watermark technology can enable better sorting and recycling rates of best quality for packaging in the EU. . Today, more than 160 partners across the value chain are working together to refine and commercialize this concept. Sonoco, one of the world’s largest sustainable packaging companies, is a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative to prove the viability of digital watermarking for packaging waste sorting and the business case at scale, likely with global implications.
Testing in Copenhagen found that using digital watermarks on packaging resulted in 98-100% correct detection, with a subsequent total ejection rate of 90-100%. During the live test in a mix of five different packaging types from different brands, 96% of Sonoco’s rigid paper containers were correctly detected and ejected. This demonstrates an additional approach to sorting Sonoco’s EnviroCan™ Rigid Paper Containers into the paper recycling stream.
“At Sonoco, we recognize the critical importance of developing sustainable packaging solutions that will protect and preserve our planet for future generations,” said Jeff Schuetz, VP of People, Consumer Technology. “We are proud to be a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative and are delighted with this successful trial to advance our sustainable packaging portfolio. We are committed to advancing the sorting and recycling of packaging of all types. »
Imperceptible postage-stamp sized digital watermarks on packaging are intended to enable the material to be efficiently sorted into specific waste streams. Conventional sorting technologies are unable to reliably identify multi-material packaging, so it can end up in the wrong recycling streams or fall into the waste stream all together. Thanks to this new digital watermarking technology, it becomes possible to more precisely separate materials into distinct streams, even in the case of multi-material packaging. It is even possible to distinguish between packaging from food and non-food applications, which is becoming increasingly important for the use of recycled materials in new packaging. With the trials in Copenhagen, Sonoco can demonstrate the high compatibility of its rigid paper containers using this technology for all sizes and material specifications.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco (:SON) is a global supplier of consumer, industrial, healthcare and protective packaging. With net sales of approximately $5.6 billion in 2021, the company has approximately 22,000 employees working in more than 300 operations in 32 countries, serving some of the world’s best-known brands in some 85 countries. Sonoco is committed to creating sustainable products, services and programs for its customers, employees and communities that support our corporate goal of better packaging. Better life. The company ranked first in the packaging industry on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2022 and was included in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit www.sonoco.com.
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