Circularise PLASTICS pilots blockchain technology for greater transparency in circular economy transition
13 Jan 2020 --- The Circularise PLASTICS initiative is set to pilot its blockchain technology for transparent circularity in plastics in a production environment early this year in what the group is calling its “first milestone.” The collaborative project was founded by polyamide supplier DOMO, materials manufacturer Covestro and Circularise, a supply chain transparency start-up. At CES 2020 in Las Vegas last week, Circularise and Covestro presented the project to customers and opened the consortium for new partners to join on the pathway towards greater transparency and circularity in plastics.
Circularise is a blockchain technology start-up offering an open source protocol and decentralized platform to bring transparency to global supply chains and empower businesses to move towards a circular economy. Circularise enables brands, suppliers and manufacturers to choose sustainable and circular materials and present information about products and their supply chains transparently without risking privacy.
Currently, the solution enables manufacturers to create a digital version of their materials based on trusted audit documents. This enables manufacturers to prove the sustainability of their supply chains and create reliability and trust.
“We are now seeing more companies ranging from material producers to OEMs and brands show interest in creating an open standard for the industry. More players see the value of implementing new technologies to become more transparent but they also realize that it can’t be done alone,” explains Mesbah Sabur, Founder of Circularise.
“The proposed communication protocol is open to everyone to create more transparency without disclosing confidential information. The blockchain is without a central authority, so the system has all the key characteristics to ensure business continuity and efficiency. Yet at the same time, it creates a fast and optimal transition platform to a more circular economy for plastics,” he tells PackagingInsights.
Pilot lift off
Circularise aims to better understand the final consumer and customer value of the technology and the challenges facing the concept as it moves towards validation by piloting the solution this year.
The start-up has already presented the standard to BASF and Stanley Black & Decker in the context of their Circularity Challenge. Circularise ended up being the only software company out of nearly 100 competitors to become a finalist in the challenge.
“The value of having this standard developed by the industry, instead of just one or two companies is in avoiding a central powerful authority and giving equal rights to all participants,” comments Thomas Nuyts, Director of Global Product Management at DOMO.
Broad marketplace adoption
Encouraging broad marketplace adoption, the Circularise PLASTICS technology is available to any organization that manufactures, processes, recycles or uses plastics.
Depending on the position of parties in the value chain, there are different benefits that they can expect. “For material suppliers and processors, as well as molders, Circularise PLASTICS’ participation means increased material value and trust in your production by adding material passports to plastic resins, additives, colorants and any other materials produced,” explains Dr. Burkhard Zimmermann, Head of Strategy, Sustainability and Digital, Covestro Polycarbonates.
“For OEMs and brandowners, it helps on the road to achieving sustainability targets and a strengthened brand position by revealing a product’s origin and transparency on its environmental impact.”
Industrial companies Covestro and DOMO Chemicals were key architects of the pilot’s final requirements and will work to adopt the standard. Following the completion of a pilot period with these companies, the system is available to the broader market. The objective is to create a strong consortium of companies to set an industry standard for transparency regarding, for example, recycled content and other sustainable practices.
“Upon validation, we will seek to scale and further improve the concept. Today the focus is on the pilots and industry awareness to evaluate and prove the concept. Based on the feedback received so far, we are optimistic and confident this is a valuable and necessary system for the future of the plastic industry,” Sabur says.
“Next to creating more transparency in plastic recycling efforts, we also need to create more recycled feedstock and enable more recycling. Now, by better tracking and tracing virgin materials, we’ll be able to recycle them better and easier. By combining all this in one communication protocol, we can make this possible,” he concludes.
By Joshua Poole
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, PackagingInsights.
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