Holy Grail 2.0 getting off the ground

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Packaging manufacturer Berry Global Group, Inc. is participating in the new recycling initiative, HolyGrail 2.0.

It is the result of the pioneering Project HolyGrail, led by Gian De Belder at Proctor & Gamble, which worked on the identification of digital watermarking (specifically, Digimarc Barcode) as a promising technique to “tag” plastic substrates or print materials (shrink sleeve, IML label, or paper label) with an identity that could include attributes such as plastic type, product manufacturer, product SKU, food or non-food usage, and composition of multi-layer foils. Digimarc Barcode can be added to the printed label/sleeve artwork and/or embossed into the plastic itself.

The Holy Grail project was recognized with the 2019 Sustainability Awards top prize at the Sustainable Packaging Summit in September. The initiative was was led by Procter & Gamble and facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The participant group consisted of representatives from the full packaging value chain, covering brand owners, waste manufacturers, resin producers and converters, retailers, technology providers/consultants and investors.

Berry will manufacture plastic packaging containing Digimarc Barcode for use in product sortation. The two companies are long-time partners, and Digimarc will advise Berry on adding the digital watermark onto drink cups and thin wall lids for containers as part of the project. “We continue to be amazed at the possibilities that Digimarc brings to us and our customers. It is exciting to see decoration have the potential to make such a positive impact on the recovery of plastics,” said Jennye Scott, vice-president of creative services for Berry.

In addition to its work with advancing recycling, Berry made an announcement in June to which it has become an official signatory of the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. As part of the Global Commitment, Berry has made a pledge for all of their plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by the year 2025.

The first scheduled test is at TOMRA Sorting’s facility in Mülheim-Kärlich, Germany, on October 22, 2019, during the K-2019 Show (Dusseldorf).