Polytag and Co-op launch ground-breaking recycling trial

11 November, 22
Recycling technology company Polytag and Co-op have agreed a partnership that will enable the UK’s leading convenience retailer to accurately identify how much of its plastic packaging is being recycled.

Recycling technology company Polytag and Co-op have agreed a partnership that will enable the UK’s leading convenience retailer to accurately identify how much of its plastic packaging is being recycled.

The trial will use Polytag’s ground-breaking UV tag reading technology, enabling brands to acquire never-before-seen data, including the exact number of plastic containers that are being sorted and handled in material recovery facilities (MRFs).

During the trial, invisible UV tags will be printed onto the labels of one of Co-op’s own-brand spring water lines.

When the bottle reaches a specific recycling centre in North Wales, the UV code will be read by specialist equipment fitted to the sorting machines. The data collected will be uploaded to Polytag’s intuitive, cloud-based analytics dashboard, providing Co-op with real-time insights on packaging lifecycles.

The valuable insights provided from the trial will enable Co-op to improve its understanding of recycling figures and help benchmark future rates for the industry.

Polytag is working with governments and waste handling businesses to extend the roll out and installation of more UV tag readers across the country, in order to deliver richer, more useful data to businesses – such as Co-op. This intelligence will enable brands and retailers to better understand if their products are being recycled, as well as helping them measure the success of initiatives designed to improve recycling rates over time.

Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, said: “This trial will enable brands to stop guessing and start knowing where and when their packaging is disposed of and recycled – a crucial step towards a packaging circular economy. We’re absolutely delighted that Co-op has agreed to work with Polytag to continue to develop and deliver technology that will enable us to all recycle more, together.”

Matt Hood, MD, Co-op Food, said: “We all have our part to play when it comes to recycling and, as a retailer, we want to gain a greater understanding on a product’s journey in the recycling chain to help paint a clearer picture and support future traceability.

“This new trial will enable Co-op to gather valuable insight to provide guidance and measurement for future initiatives to encourage more people to recycle and it will also support the industry with true benchmarks for recycling rates in the UK for the very first time.”

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