Mondelēz International, AIM partner to launch digital watermarks in Europe

Image courtesy: FoodBev

EUROPE – Mondelēz International has partnered with AIM, the European Brands Association, to launch cross-value chain initiative named HolyGrail 2.0, to trial digital watermarks with the aim of improving packaging recycling in Europe.

The initiative has seen the launch of an industrial pilot and also bringing together other European companies and organisations. This aims to assess whether the technology could enable better sorting and more efficient and higher-quality recycling for packaging in the EU.

Mondelēz says that the collaboration forms part of its efforts to deliver on its aim for zero-net waste packaging by 2025.

According to FoodBev, the company is reportedly seeking to meet this objective by supporting industry coalitions and public-private partnerships to improve recycling infrastructure and create a circular economy.

“We want to remove barriers to recycling efficiency and believe that when business unites under a common goal we can create positive impact at scale for people and planet.”

Michael Stumpf – manager, Europe RDQ packaging sustainability, Mondelēz International

“We are excited to be joining this innovative pilot. HolyGrail 2.0 is a further step towards our goal of zero-net waste packaging by 2025,” Michael Stumpf, Europe RDQ packaging sustainability manager at Mondelēz International, said.

“We want to remove barriers to recycling efficiency and believe that when business unites under a common goal we can create positive impact at scale for people and planet.”

Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes on consumer goods packaging, which can carry information such as type of plastics used and composition for multilayer objects.

The aim is that the digital watermark is detected and decoded by a standard high-resolution camera on a waste sorting line, which is then able to sort the packaging into the correct streams.

AIM is the European Brands Association representing brand manufacturers in Europe on key issues which affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands.

Meanwhile, Mondelēz International intends to start packaging its Philadelphia brand cream cheese in tubs made from chemically recycled plastics in 2022. The packaging maker Berry Global will mold the containers. Petrochemical giant Sabic will supply the polypropylene.

The start-up Plastic Energy will produce feedstock for that polypropylene from postconsumer plastics at a plant it is constructing on Sabic’s site in Geleen, the Netherlands.

“You cannot achieve a circular economy on your own. A circular economy requires partnering up- and downstream,” said Robert Flores, vice president of sustainability at Berry, for which the project is its first in chemical recycling.

“And obviously, as such a well-known global company, Mondelēz International was an ideal partner to launch this material with.”

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