One of the key challenges standing in the way of a well-functioning circular economy is the need to make sorting household waste simpler and more effective. Improving how packaging is identified before recycling actually begins, for example, would make the process much more efficient and raise the quality of recycled materials. As a packaging manufacturer that actively promotes a sustainable circular economy, Greiner Packaging is committed to the development of digital watermarks.
This new technology paves the way for:
- Smart packaging
- Easier sorting
- Higher recycling rates
- Better recycled material quality
The aim is to recycle as much of our packaging as possible easily and effectively in the future to extend the life cycle of packaging and give it real added value.
Consumer engagement through unique augmented reality experiences
Digital watermarks put packaging on the right track
However, digital watermarks can do much more than just carry information about packaging characteristics for use in the sorting process. In fact, they offer real added value at every stage of the packaging journey, from scanning at the checkout counter and carrying additional offers to boost consumer loyalty to making the entire supply chain even more transparent.
How digital watermarks work
Algorithms and software convert the pixels into signals
Tiny codes, invisible to the human eye
Light, invisible contrasting pixels incorporated into the packaging design or embossing in the plastic cup
Mosaic of repeating signal tiles
Integration of the watermarks in the packaging design or by means of embossing directly in the plastic cup.
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Wide range of decoration options
The advantages of smart sorting lie in the system
- Material composition
- Proportion of postconsumer recycled (PCR) material
- Identification of manufacturer/brand owner
- Identification of new materials
- Mono-/multimaterial packaging
- Improve sorting rates, accuracy and quality of the recyclates, diverting packaging from landfills and oceans.
- Efficient supply chain management
- Product traceability
- Error prevention, such as incorrect packaging, labeling, or product
- Simple, high-speed scanning along the supply chain
- No drop in the productivity of camera inspection systems
- Uninterrupted, automated inventory management
- Additional digital product information (nutritional value, allergens, origin, use, corporate social responsibility)
- Marketing campaigns, flexible and dynamic in real time
- Faster checkout/scanning
- Shorter lines at the checkout
- Prevention of human errors
- Ability to scan damaged labels
- Unique AR experiences
- Greater product transparency
- Direct communication with customers
- Consumer engagement:
- Added value in the form of recipes, inspiring suggestions, ideas, games, and fun
- Usage instructions o Links to online stores
HolyGrail 2.0: collective action on digital watermarking
The objective is to simplify the way used materials are sorted and facilitate higher-quality packaging recycling.
As part of the initiative, brand manufacturers are now working with retailers, converters, systems suppliers, and recycling companies to initiate activities along the length of the value chain, including sampling projects within the industry. By doing so, they aim to test out the feasibility of digital watermarking technologies and demonstrate their potential