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Digital watermarks for easier sorting

The "HolyGrail 2.0" initiative aims to evaluate digital technology for better sorting.

In the HolyGrail 2.0 project, the European brand association AIM, together with several partners along the entire value chain, wants to examine whether digital watermarks on packaging can simplify waste sorting and thus contribute to high-quality recycling. The leading packaging manufacturer Mondi, which according to its own statements is one of the founding members of the original pioneering project HolyGrail, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, is now one of the 85 partners who want to make the concept marketable.

The postage stamp-sized watermarks, invisible to the naked eye, are intended to enable materials to be sorted effectively into specific waste streams. The technology is expected to work more accurately than near-infrared spectroscopy, for example. In addition, digital watermarks could provide information on product details or on packaging and its recycling process. A high-resolution camera attached to the sorting system would capture and decode the digital watermark. Mondi announced its intention to conduct large-scale industrial trials with key customers in the near future.


  •, (8.9.2020)
  • Photo: @ Mondi