Landbell Group helps to improve recycling by joining Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0

6 September 2023

Landbell Group is committed to developing innovative solutions for sorting and recycling packaging waste and keeping it in the loop. Our goal is to foster technology to create truly circular solutions and avoid downcycling and incineration.

One such technology is digital watermarking, which could revolutionise the sorting and recycling of packaging.

This is why Landbell Group is supporting the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, a project facilitated by AIM, the European Brands Association, and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. The Group is involved as an associate member, with the aim of proving the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate sorting, and the business case at large scale.

Digital watermarks on packaging offer high precision detection of individual types of packaging by type, design, and function. The technology enables the separation of rigid polypropylene (PP) from films and other plastics and, more importantly, from food-contact and non-food contact packaging materials with a high degree of precision.

The digital watermarks consist of imperceptible codes, the size of a postage stamp, which cover the surface of consumer goods packaging.

Phase 3 of the initiative, which involves trials in commercial facilities, is now ongoing, and the first part of it has successfully validated the technology’s advanced sorting capability in an industrial environment – with positive results for the separation of enhanced non-food PET bottles from the regular waste stream. For more information, please visit the project website. The next part of Phase 3 will consist of further industrial trials on different post-consumer waste material streams, taking place later this year.

Optimising the sorting of packaging waste fractions will ensure high quality recycling with lower production losses and enable the use of recyclates even in food contact packaging materials.