The Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 has seen a breakthrough with the successful validation, after semi-industrial testing mimicking real-life conditions, of the prototype detection unit for digital watermarks. The results show that the digital watermark technology can achieve more granular sorting of packaging waste at scale, such as developing separate food and other new PCR streams that currently do not exist (e.g. for cosmetic or detergent applications). This would open up new recycling streams, effectively overcoming limitations of current near-infrared (NIR) sorting technologies, and drive a true circular economy for packaging.
The Initiative – driven by AIM - European Brands Association and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste – is a pilot project with the goal to prove the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate sorting leading to higher quality recycling rates in the EU and for the business case at large scale.