Presented new technology that reveals to us whether the packaging is really recycled

Photo illustration: Pixabay

The fact that packaging can be recycled does not mean that it actually happens in practice. But a new partnership between the Co-op and Polytag aims to address these concerns. The aim of the partnership is for the UK’s leading retailer to accurately identify how much plastic packaging is actually recycled.

This will be achieved through the use of new UV technology that will allow brands to access previously unknown data including the exact number of plastic containers that have been collected for recycling.

During the trial period, invisible UV labels will be printed on the labels of a specific Co-op branded water brand. When the bottle reaches the recycling center, a special device “reads” the UV code. Data is available in real time to both Polytag and Co-op.

This technology will allow brands and retailers to better understand whether their packaging is truly recycled.

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“Our technology will allow brands to no longer guess, but to know exactly when and where their packaging is disposed of and recycled, which is a crucial step towards a circular economy in the packaging industry. We are happy that the Co-op is working with us to implement technology that will help us all recycle more,” says Alice Rekli, director of Polytag.

Matt Hood from the Co-op reminds us that everyone has a role to play in recycling.

“As a retailer, we want to understand the product’s path in the recycling chain in order to have a clearer picture of the entire process. In this way, we will gather valuable insights for future initiatives to encourage people to recycle,” Hud points out.

Source: Center for Promotion of Circular Economy

Source: Energetski Portal by

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