In a new project under the HolyGrail 2.0 Initiative, ALPLA, Farm Dairy, and Pellenc ST will help test the feasibility of FiliGrade Sustainable Watermarks’ CurvCode watermarking technology in closing the loop on HDPE milk bottles in the Netherlands.

As the upcoming Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation mandates minimum percentages of recycled content in plastic packaging, the HolyGrail 2.0 Initiative aims to harness digital codes to help sort and recycle plastic waste correctly – keeping it within a material loop and out of landfill or incineration.

The first phase of its new project will run sorting trials in a semi-industrial setting. Sample HDPE milk containers will be produced by ALPLA and marked with a CurvCode watermark, then contaminated with milk and labelled to simulate post-consumer use. At this point, they will be delivered to Pellenc ST’s headquarters to be tested.

The HG2.0 technical team will oversee FiliGrade and Pellenc ST’s prototype sorting module as it sorts around 4,000 items over the course of the summer, ideally separating the test samples from standard packaging waste. Upon successful completion of the trial, the CurvCode technology will be brought to TRL 7, with the HG2.0 Technical Management Team producing and distributing a report to relevant Dutch stakeholders across the HDPE milk container supply chain in preparation for the next phase of testing.

Last October, the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative entered its final phase of R&D trials to prepare for market entry and the launch of a pilot market in France in 2024. Digitally watermarked polypropylene flexibles produced by PepsiCo and LDPE flexibles by Essity and P&G underwent granular sorting trials at Hündgen Entsorgung’s Materials Recovery Facility.

A panel was also held at the Sustainable Packaging Summit 2023 to discuss HolyGrail 2.0 to discuss the progress of the project, next steps, and the future of the Initiative in the context of an open, competitive market in developing a circular economy.

In other news, Wipak has joined Digimarc’s Center of Expertise programme in a bid to increase companies’ access to digital watermarking for integration into digital identification and authentication solutions.

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