Mondelēz International has partnered with AIM – the European Brands Association – to trial digital watermarks with the aim of improving packaging recycling in Europe.

Also bringing together other European companies and organisations, the cross-value chain initiative, named HolyGrail 2.0, has seen the launch of an industrial pilot. This aims to assess whether the technology could enable better sorting, and more efficient and higher-quality recycling for packaging in the EU.

Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes on consumer goods packaging, which can carry information such as type of plastics used and composition for multilayer objects.

The aim is that the digital watermark is detected and decoded by a standard high-resolution camera on a waste sorting line, which is then able to sort the packaging into the correct streams.

Mondelēz says that the collaboration forms part of its efforts to deliver on its aim for zero-net waste packaging by 2025.

The company is reportedly seeking to meet this objective by supporting industry coalitions and public-private partnerships to improve recycling infrastructure and create a circular economy.

Michael Stumpf, Europe RDQ packaging sustainability manager at Mondelēz International, said: “We are excited to be joining this innovative pilot. HolyGrail 2.0 is a further step towards our goal of zero-net waste packaging by 2025.

“We want to remove barriers to recycling efficiency and believe that when business unites under a common goal we can create positive impact at scale for people and planet.”


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