PepsiCo is trialling products encoded with invisible digital watermarks for more effective recycling, say the company. The technology is seen as something that will revolutionise mechanical sorting. The beverage giant and other packaging stakeholders are evaluating how to industrialize this solution for a more streamlined waste stream in the EU. They note that watermarks can be used in consumer engagement, supply chain visibility and retail operations.
“This technology has the potential to make life simpler for consumers because they will not have to separate their packaging and worry about which plastic polymer is which. Instead, through this trial, our product packaging will be encoded with these invisible digital watermarks, which contain information about the manufacturer, product, material type and whether the packaging is food safe,” Gareth Callan, PepsiCo’s Holy Grail Project Lead commented. “When scanned by a high resolution camera on a waste sorting line, this information helps to sort the packaging into the right stream – meaning more high quality material can be recycled, more efficiently.”
The project ‘HolyGrail 2.0’ is steered by PepsiCo together with more than 85 companies and organizations, led by the European Brands Association (AIM). The consortium aims to launch an industrial pilot to prove the viability of digital watermarks technologies. FoodIngredientsFirst