Pioneer Project HolyGrail reveals promising results for the use of digital watermarking technology to reduce plastic waste in the environment
BEAVERTON, Ore. – May 29, 2019 – Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC), inventor of the Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP™), has recently completed its participation in Pioneer Project HolyGrail initiated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy. Digimarc Barcode was shown in testing to overcome many current limitations in plastic sorting technology, making it easier to accurately identify plastics that qualify for recycling and prevent their unnecessary disposal into landfills or incinerators.
Pioneer Project HolyGrail was a three-year initiative and full-value chain collaboration project led by Procter & Gamble with 29 participating partners, including consumer brands L’Oreal, Danone, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Henkel and retailer Carrefour. In a published report, the tests show that Digimarc Barcode, by turning plastic containers into “intelligent objects,” could accomplish sorting techniques that have been impossible for the industry to achieve. By accurately distinguishing between food-grade versus non-food grade containers, Digimarc Barcode addresses one of the industry’s greatest unmet challenges to date, and could have a major impact on developments in recycling in the near future. In addition, it identifies flexible packaging, carbon-black packaging, the composition of plastic types in multi-layers and detects the proper separation and sorting of full-body shrink-sleeved containers.
Digimarc Barcode provides a unique, scannable 3D identity when applied in plastic substrates. The dataset carried by the code can convey a wide range of attributes, including the waste item’s manufacturer, product SKU, and manufacturing facility. Digimarc Barcode automatically instructs sorting mechanisms to separate the plastic waste for higher quality and quantity of recyclable materials, helping to ensure that manufacturers can meet their public commitments for use of recycled content and to comply with government mandates. The scanning capability can also be retrofitted into existing sorting facilities upon commercialization.
Digimarc Barcode can also be applied to shrink sleeves and paper labels providing opportunities for increasing the likelihood of identification and the amount of data that can be obtained. The multiple layer enhancement supports many other efficiencies in manufacturing, supply chain, retail operations and consumer engagement. Digimarc Barcode can provide a broader role in the Circular Economy, for instance, allowing environmentally-conscious consumers to scan products with smartphones to learn how to properly separate plastic objects in conformity with their curbside waste service provider.
“Digimarc Barcode is unique because it creates ‘intelligent objects’ that provide ‘hyper sorting’ in recycling facilities,” said Larry Logan, Chief Evangelist, Digimarc. “The HolyGrail test results demonstrate a viable path towards much greater plastics recycling, leading to reduced waste, and validates our engagement with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. It’s gratifying to see how these capabilities can be readily applied for social good in support of a Circular Economy for plastics.”
The Global Commitment aims to build a Circular Economy for plastics by bringing together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, which Digimarc signed in April 2019. Larry Logan will be presenting the company’s approach to plastics recycling and how it can help reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills at two upcoming conferences – June 4 at 10:20am EDT at the Active & Intelligent Packaging Summit Americas in Jersey City, New Jersey, and on June 18 at 11:50am CEST he will be co-presenting with Procter & Gamble’s Gian de Belder at Plastics Recycling Technology in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Watch a brief video featuring Gian de Belder, Project Leader, Pioneer Project HolyGrail.
Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC) is a pioneer in the automatic identification of everyday objects such as product packaging and virtually any media, including print, images and audio. Based on the patented Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP™), Digimarc provides innovative and comprehensive automatic recognition technologies to simplify search, and transform information discovery through unparalleled reliability, efficiency and security. Digimarc has a global patent portfolio, which includes over 1,100 granted and pending patents. These innovations include state-of-the-art identification technology, Digimarc Barcode, as well as Digimarc Discover® software for barcode scanning, image recognition, as layers of its ground-breaking Intuitive Computing Platform. Digimarc is based in Beaverton, Oregon. Its Platform is used by major retailers and consumer brands, global banks, U.S. states, film companies and professional sports franchises, among others. Visit digimarc.com and follow us @digimarc to learn more about The Barcode of Everything®.