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Digimarc Supports International Recycling Initiatives, Explores Plastic Waste Sorting Challenges

Company signs Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to tackle plastics waste at the source

BEAVERTON, Ore., April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Digimarc Corporation (DMRC), inventor of the Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP™) featuring Digimarc Barcode, has announced its commitment to improve the reliability and efficiency of sorting plastic waste, most notably signing the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which is focused on building a circular economy.

Digimarc The Barcode of Everything(TM)

The deluge of plastic materials being used daily – one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute around the world – is creating an enormous challenge when it comes to properly and efficiently recycling of those items. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, this has led to nearly 26 million tons of plastic ending up in U.S. landfills in recent years. Sorting different types of plastics is difficult at recycling centers globally as current sorting technologies are challenged to accurately and efficiently distinguish between various types of plastic or differentiate between plastic used for food or non-food.

Signing the 'New Plastics Economy Global Commitment'

Digimarc has now signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative that aims to build a circular economy for plastics by bringing together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. Digimarc joins companies such as Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company that also have signed the Global Commitment. Digimarc will undertake collaborative projects and other initiatives geared towards the early development of a packaging solution that will increase the opportunity for greater sorting accuracy, higher yields, and even help drive consumer engagement through smartphones to "discover" recycling content on a package.

"The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments and others behind a clear vision of a circular economy for plastic. We are pleased Digimarc is joining us, by setting concrete 2025 targets. Our vision is for a world where plastic never becomes waste or pollution. It will be a challenging journey, but by coming together we can eliminate the plastics we don't need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be safely and easily circulated – keeping them in the economy and out of the environment." - Sander Defruyt, Lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Digimarc Barcode offers the potential to more accurately identify plastics and other recyclables by enhancing the packaging, such as labels and shrink sleeves, to contain a unique identifier. In addition, Digimarc Barcode can be used to create a unique identity in the texture of the plastic material itself through the molding and engraving processes.

Plastic Identification for Better Sorting

Plastic waste that can be more easily identified and sorted by an automated sorting machine at a recycling facility can increase the quality and quantity of recyclable materials available to brands that are working to achieve sustainability goals. Furthermore, Digimarc Barcode can also help consumers understand how to dispose their plastic waste to comply with specific municipalities; a simple scan with a smartphone can indicate what kind of plastic it is and how and where it can be recycled.

"Digimarc's ICP is a multisided platform connecting retailers, consumer brands and consumers in a series of mutually-beneficial relationships," said Bruce Davis, CEO, Digimarc. "The reduction of plastic waste materials and the creation of a circular economy exemplifies how the ICP benefits all parties on the platform, with retailers and brands being able to meet consumers' desire for more comprehensive recycling."

Petcore Europe & Pioneer Project Holy Grail

Digimarc is also involved in high-impact projects and working groups that are addressing some of the biggest challenges in the world of recycling. Digimarc is participating in the Pioneer Project Holy Grail, an initiative driven by the Ellen McArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy initiative and led by Procter & Gamble. That project aims to develop an industry-wide system that leverages technology to simplify the sorting of packaging waste through using a "barcode of recycling."

The company also became a member of Petcore Europe, a trade association ensuring the sustainable growth of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) as a packaging material of choice. Digimarc is involved in two Petcore Europe technical working groups that are looking at innovative packaging solutions to ensure a continuous increase of post-consumer PET recycling. These working groups are focused on recycling thermoformed PET plastic molds, opaque plastics and other difficult-to-recycle plastic packaging.

Digimarc Speaking on Recycling Solution

Digimarc will be discussing its commitment and efforts in recycling at the following industry events:

  • Active & Intelligent Packaging Summit Americas June 3-4, 2019, Jersey City, NJ
    Chief Evangelist Larry Logan will speak on June 4 at 10:20am ET on Digimarc's approach to plastics recycling and the company's efforts with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in looking at how Digimarc can help reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills.
  • GS1 ConnectJune 19-21, 2019, Denver, CO
    Heidi Dethloff, VP of Marketing, will speak about the recent innovations for Digimarc Barcode and the ICP that help remove friction throughout the various stages of recycling.

Digimarc Barcode has many applications and use-cases, carrying both numeric and alphanumeric data using GS1 identification standards for product packaging, retail labels, Point-of-Purchase displays and other printed materials. In the retail industry, for example, consumers benefit from a faster and more convenient checkout experience and in-aisle access to detailed product information. Retailers benefit through more efficient front-of-store operations, improved inventory accuracy and supply chain management, reduced product shrink and improved consumer engagement. Digimarc's recycling initiatives are further extending the benefits and value proposition of its platform, from initial manufacturing now through re-birth in recycling, demonstrating value at every stage in the package journey.

About Digimarc
Digimarc Corporation (DMRC) is a pioneer in the automatic identification of everyday objects such as product packaging and virtually any media, including print, images and audio. Based on the patented Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP™), Digimarc provides innovative and comprehensive automatic recognition technologies to simplify search, and transform information discovery through unparalleled reliability, efficiency and security. Digimarc has a global patent portfolio, which includes over 1,100 granted and pending patents. These innovations include state-of-the-art identification technology, Digimarc Barcode, as well as Digimarc Discover® software for barcode scanning, image recognition, as layers of its ground-breaking Intuitive Computing Platform. Digimarc is based in Beaverton, Oregon. Its Platform is used by major retailers and consumer brands, global banks, U.S. states, film companies and professional sports franchises, among others. Visit digimarc.com and follow us @digimarc to learn more about The Barcode of Everything®.

 

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