MacDermid Graphics Solutions, a global supplier of photopolymer plates and platemaking solutions to the package printing industry, has joined the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0. Facilitated by AIM, the European Brands Association, HolyGrail 2.0 is a pilot project with the objective to demonstrate the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate sorting and higher quality recycling, as well as business capabilities at a large scale.

MacDermid is one of more than 100 companies and organizations from the complete packaging value chain that are part of HolyGrail 2.0. The initiative has goals to solve the complexities surrounding the recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging for a circular economy.

Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes covering the surface of consumer goods packaging. These codes can be read by cameras and encode a wide range of attributes such as manufacturer, SKU, type of plastics used and composition for multilayer objects, food vs. non-food usage, etc. The information can be used throughout the entire packaging value chain. When the packaging reaches a waste sorting facility, the digital watermarks can be detected and encoded on the sorting line, then sorted into corresponding streams. This could result in more accurate sorting streams and higher-quality recyclates to be re-used, supporting a circular economy. 

“We are thrilled to join this ambitious initiative along with renowned companies like Amcor, P&G, Sonoco and Pepsico. As a flexographic plate and platemaking supplier, we have a unique perspective of optimizing print solutions that integrate digital watermarks in package printing,” says Matt Bennett, VP, EMEA for MacDermid.  

MacDermid says it will contribute its expertise on optimizing flexographic plates to implement digital watermarking and the overall printing process to HolyGrail 2.0.

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