Plastic Sorting Application
BATAVIA, Ohio, and BEAVERTON, Ore. — Multi-Color Corporation (MCC), a company that offers label label solutions, and Digimarc Corp., creator of the Digimarc Platform for digital identification and detection, announced this week a partnership to serialize product packaging and labels with Digimarc Barcode in support of food safety and traceability initiatives. MCC is also a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 project, and the company is utilizing an additional application of Digimarc — non-serialized digital watermarking identities — with its client Orkla, a leading supplier of branded consumer goods in Europe and India, to improve the sortation of plastic and promote a circular economy.
According to the Department of Agriculture, recalls in the food industry cost approximately $29 million per occurrence. To help mitigate the impact of these recalls, MCC and Digimarc have co-developed a hybrid printing method in which Digimarc Barcode can be printed in large volumes.
Plastic clamshells containing berries, for example, can be serialized with a Digimarc-enhanced label produced by MCC's hybrid printing process. Quality control procedures should ensure Digimarc is scannable throughout the supply chain. And when consumer brands combine serialized products with an IoT management platform, individual packages should easily be traced back to their origin at a specific farm, as well as across the entire supply chain, said MCC.
"Traceability is essential for consumer brands and food manufacturers to promote consumer safety, mitigate risk and gain real-time insight into raw materials and product locations in farms, warehouses, logistics and distribution centers," said Matthew Thomas, business development manager, MCC. "MCC's rich expertise in the area of digital and hybrid printing brings Digimarc's serialized identities to life and at scale. It's a partnership that is perfectly positioned to impact the food supply chain of today and the future."
In addition to using serialized Digimarc Barcode, MCC Verstraete IML is working with Orkla to introduce Digimarc's digital watermarking identities into packaging for one of its product lines. The interactive IML (Injection Molding Labels) with Digimarc, can enable accurate and reliable scanning, to improve plastic sorting, and return more plastics back into the recovery stream.
"With Digimarc digital watermarking, we can alter how people view waste. For example, when a bottle is empty, it becomes unwanted — something to be discarded. Now imagine if, instead of just throwing this away, the consumer could scan the bottle with their smartphone and be shown new possibilities," said Pavel Komurka, packaging innovation and sustainability coordinator, Orkla. "We could present ideas and provide examples, from reuse options to new products created at the end of a recycling stream. With Digimarc, we're able to explore an exciting new world of opportunities."
"Our partnership with MCC provides a tangible way for consumer brands to get started on their traceability and recycling initiatives," said Scott Wilcox, vice president, client services, Digimarc. "By partnering with the intelligent labeling experts at MCC and MCC Verstraete IML, we can improve sortation and the re-use of plastic materials, an issue of paramount importance to the world we all share. Our solution starts with the action of the consumer and extends into better identification in material recovery facilities, eliminating more of the waste that ends up in our environment."