Paccor has introduced its first clear PET thermoformed trays using the Digimarc barcode-enabled digital ‘watermarking’ identification solution.
The packaging solution conforms to guidelines included in the HolyGrail 2.0 recycling initiative. The goal of this programme is implementation of an ‘intelligent’ sorting solution for plastic recycling based on these marks.
The system should result in a greater quantity of recycled plastics and a better quality of end recyclate.
For the Paccor packaging, the Digimarc barcode was engraved into the mould, delivering a marker which Digimarc describes as using “micro-topological variations”. The marks can also be included on wrap and paper.
This particular application results in an embossed mark on the packaging which includes such information as the manufacturer, type of plastic, whether it is food- or non-food grade, and layering characteristics. It can also help with detection of difficult-to-sort items, such as carbon black trays.
In a demonstration the Paccor trays were detected with 100% accuracy in tests operating at three metres per second. Accuracy was said to be in the high-90s when combined with mixed waste.
The trays can be identified whether the contact or non-contact side is facing the optical element detector.
“We are excited to participate with Digimarc in what we believe will become the standard approach to giving plastics the capability to ‘inform’ sorting systems of their composition,” said Nicolas Lorenz, chief commercial officer at Paccor. “We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we were able to apply Digimarc barcode signal representations to our PET thermoforms and achieve such high accuracy levels of detection.”
With headquarters in Bellevue, Washington state, Paccor has a series of UK locations in Nottingham and County Durham.
In July this year, Paccor purchased EDV Packaging, a Spanish firm specialising in production of packaging solutions using standard plastics for rigid barrier products and also compostable coffee capsules.
Other companies which have produced packaging featuring the Digimarc coding solution include Berry Global, the US company which recently acquired UK packaging firm, RPC Group.