In 2018, with the adoption of the EU Plastics Strategy, Europe made a number of commitments designed to promote the transition toward a circular economy for plastics. In the strategy, an important role was assigned to the plastics recycling industry.
Among others, an EU-wide pledging campaign was launched in which the European Commission called on stakeholders to come forward with voluntary pledges to boost the uptake of recycled plastics. Ultimately, the goal was to ensure that by 2025, ten million tonnes of recycled plastics found their way into new products on the EU market.
The MORE platform was established by EuPC in 2019 in collaboration with its member organisations in order to monitor and register the progress towards achieving this quantitative objective. Its aim is to register 10 million tonnes of recycled polymers reused in products annually by 2025 – 2030.
At the same time, another group of companies got together to address a different aspect, namely the traceability of the materials. Polyamide supplier Domo and polymer manufacturer Covestro, in collaboration with Dutch blockchain technology start-up Circularise, established the Circularise Plastics consortium with the aim of to creating a system for tracking plastics.
Their goal is to develop an open standard for sharing data about where resins or materials have originated. This is information that is important for moving to circular production models that help the plastics industry increase the use of recycled content and decrease the use of virgin plastic.
The Circularise Plastics Group has launched an Open Standard for Sustainability and Transparency, based on blockchain technology & Zero-knowledge Proofs.
Now, EuPC and the Group have announced that they have entered into an agreement to develop an improved digital platform to monitor the rate of the plastics recycling activities in Europe using blockchain technology.
“With the development of the MORE platform, EuPC emphasised the importance of creating an efficient infrastructure for monitoring the flow of data about the use of recycled plastic," said Jordi de Vos, Circularise’s co-founder. "We are happy to support its development with our technology and are looking forward to this collaboration."
EuPC's strategy aligns with Circularise’s mission to enable transparency of material flows - while safeguarding data privacy and confidentiality. The partners specifically aim to test how the Open Standard for Sustainability and Transparency can be applied for this.
As EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis pointed out, it is important to ensure that the MORE platform is future-proof. One way to do so is to take advantage of the new technologies available.
This collaborative initiative is an important element of a broader scope to create a standard for the industry: a secure, open-source, shared data exchange system for the global value chains to enable traceability of materials throughout the lifecycle across all stakeholders and value-chains, according to the partners
“Increased recycling starts with the correct monitoring and reporting practices. We believe that the Open Standard for Sustainability and Transparency can enable that,” said Thomas Nuyts, Director of Global Product Management at Domo Chemicals.
“The collaboration between Circularise Plastics group and EuPC has the potential to provide a remote yet detailed monitoring and audit opportunity for companies. The system could enable a more trustworthy and less expensive way to become and remain qualified, while providing the necessary speed and flexibility”, added Burkhard Zimmermann, Head of Resin, Digital Transformation & Sustainability, Covestro Polycarbonates.