Towards a Circular Economy for Plastics

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  • Published: 20 April 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Associated Suppliers: BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany
thumbnail image: Towards a Circular Economy for Plastics

Security Matters and BASF sign a binding joint agreement to develop solutions for plastics traceability and circularity. To move towards a circular economy, more plastic waste needs to be recovered and reused. Though there is progress towards chemical recycling, the more common method is to mechanically recycle it. Due to polymer degradation and residual impurities, recycled plastic loses its mechanical performance properties and quality compared to virgin plastic. The recycling infrastructure is also expensive and complicated, and does not exist in many parts of the world.

In their cooperation, Security Matters and BASF aim to offer a solution for this. Security Matters will provide its track and trace solution that marks physical objects with a unique and unalterable chemical-based barcode and connects them to a digital twin. The barcode withstands manufacturing and recycling processes, without altering the appearance or performance of the object. Using proprietary technology, the barcode captures a wide variety of information embedded in the plastic. This technology allows physical and digital tracking of closed-loop recycling, authenticate sustainability claims, and improve the sorting of plastic waste.

By providing transparency of product lifecycles, the companies hope to create an entire technology-driven ecosystem that promotes circularity and sustainability for plastics. Both companies will also combine their research & development capabilities and required resources as part of the agreement.





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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH